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THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




ENDOWED BY THE 

DIALECTIC AND PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



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UNIVERSITY OF N.C. AT CHAPEL HILL 



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Letters from China 




Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Dowager of China 
{By Special Permission) 



Letters from China 



WITH PARTICULAR REFERENCE TO THE 

EMPRESS DOWAGER AND THE 

WOMEN OF CHINA 

BY 

SARAH PIKE CONGER 

(MRS. E. H. CONGER) 



WITH EIGHTY ILLUSTRATIONS FROM PHOTOGRAPHS 

AND A MAP 







\ 



CHICAGO 

A. C. McCLURG & CO. 

1909 



Copyright 

A. C. McCLURG & CO. 

1909 

Published April 17, 1909 

Entered at Stationers' Hall, London, England 
All Rights Reserved 



Wc>t Hafttgttre $rts8 

R. R. DONNELLEY & SONS COMPANY 
CHICAGO 



MOST LOVINGLY 
TO 

SARAH CONGER BUCHAN 







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FOREWORD 



BEFORE going to the Far East my ideas of the 
Orient were vague. From my entrance into China, 
on through seven years, I worked with a fixed pur- 
pose to gain clearer ideas. To avoid all formalities and 
to simplify the recording of events, I have chosen, and 
here present, some of my private letters written to our 
daughter, sisters, nieces, and nephews. In these letters 
many heart- stories are told. May each letter carry a 
ray of light into the hearts of its readers, and reveal a 
little of the real character of the Chinese as it has been 
revealed to me. Our experiences in China were unique 
and extreme in many ways. Through the smaller and 
larger avenues of the almost iron-clad customs of China 
I was permitted to pass and to enter places where I be- 
held many wonderful views of wonderful things. That 
others may look upon a modified panorama of these 
views and help to correct the widespread and erroneous 
ideas about China and her people, I present this letter 
compilation. 

Since my departure from China many events have 
cast their lights and shadows over China's domain. An 
activity has been aroused that bids fair for cooperation 
with other nations; with one stroke the Throne has been 
bereft of its rulers; a babe Emperor has been enthroned. 
My heart's sympathy is with China, and my congrat- 
ulations go across the great waters to this young ruler's 
father and mother, whom I have met many times, and 
with whom I have exchanged courtesies. 

vii 



viii FOREWORD 

Prince Chun, the Regent of China, is the youngest 
brother of the late Emperor, Kwang Hsu. He is a young, 
fine-looking Chinese Prince. Prince Chun is affable, 
while dignified, in his manner. Mr. Conger, with other 
high officials, has several times entertained this Prince, 
the Regent of China. Prince Chun was sent to Germany 
to apologize for the murder, in siege days, of Baron Von 
Ketteler; he also officiated at the dedication of the Von 
Ketteler Monument, which was erected by China on the 
spot where this awful tragedy happened. 

Her Imperial Majesty's forty-seven years' reign proved 
the heart and mind quality which made a strong character, 
such as history has seldom recorded. The Empress 
Dowager of China was a great woman, and China's great 
men recognized and acknowledged this fact. The many 
conversations awarded me with Her Majesty revealed 
much of the concealed force and value of China's women. 
Ignorance of these qualities has brought a pronounced 
misrepresentation of China's womanhood. May the 
light of understanding dispel the darkness of ignorance 
and reveal the true China and her people. 

May the glimpses of truth, the expressions of love, in 
these, my heart treasures, unfold into fuller revelation 
love's infinitude not only for her to whom this book is 
dedicated, but for all who, seeking, shall find. 

All official communications here used were first made 
public through the press before appearing in my letters. 

Sarah Pike Conger, 
pasadena, california, 
January 20, 1909. 



CONTENTS 



YEAR 

Foreword 

1898 American Legation, Peking, July 23 
Western Hills, August 15 
Western Hills, September 15 
American Legation, Peking, December 16 
American Legation, Peking, December 17 
American Legation, Peking, December 20 

1899 American Legation, Peking, January 8 . 
American Legation, Peking, January 8 . 
American Legation, Peking, February i 
American Legation, Peking, February 2 
American Legation, Peking, March 12 . 
American Legation, Peking, April 26 
American Legation, Peking, May 14 

Peking, June 3 

Western Hills, July 14 . 
Western Hills, August 4 
On Shipboard, Pacific Ocean, October 4 

1900 Nagato S. S., April i 
American Legation, Peking, June 4 
American Legation, Peking, June 13 to July 20 
British Legation, Peking, July 7 . . 
British Legation, Peking, July 15 
British Legation, Peking, July 18 
British Legation, Peking, July 20 (Siege Days) 
British Legation, Peking, August 7 
British Legation, Peking, August 13 
British Legation, Peking, August 14 
American Legation, Peking, August 19 . 
American Legation, Peking, August 20 . 
Legation Home, Peking, September 13 . 
American Legation, Peking, September 28 

ix 



page 
vii 

1 

4 
10 
18 
22 
29 
34 
36 
45 
49 
53 
59 
64 
68 

75 
78 
82 

86 
88 
101 
108 
118 
121 
132 

139 
152 
156 
160 
163 
167 
173 



CONTENTS — Continued 



1900 American Legation, Peking, September 30 
American Legation, Peking, November 16 
Legation Home, Peking, November 24 . 
American Legation, Peking, November 25 
Legation Home, Peking, December 12 . 
American Legation, Peking, December 13 
American Legation, Peking, December 31 

1901 American Legation, Peking, January 5 . 
Legation Home, Peking, February 6 
American Legation, Peking, February 25 
Steamship, March 29 ... 
American Legation, Peking, December 20 

1902 Legation Home, Peking, March 9 . 
Legation Home, Peking, March 14 
American Legation, Peking, March 16 . 
Legation Home, Peking, March 25 

Peking, May 9 

American Legation, Peking, May 10 
American Legation, Peking, October 3 
Peking, November 13 

1903 American Legation, Peking, January 9 . 
American Legation, Peking, June 20 
American Legation, Peking, June 21 
American Legation, Peking, July 20 
American Legation, Peking, July 25 
American Legation, Peking, August 24 . 
American Legation, Peking, August 30 . 
American Legation, Peking, November 8 
Peking, December 15 

1904 American Legation, Peking, January 15 
American Legation, Peking, February 18 
American Legation, Peking, April 9 
Legation Home, Peking, April 16 . 
American Legation, Peking, April 19 
American Legation, Peking, May 2 
American Legation, Peking, June 3 
American Legation, Peking, June 20 



176 
177 
178 
180 
182 
190 
191 
i93 
i95 
196 
199 
206 
211 

215 
223 
230 

234 
235 
237 
241 
242 
246 
256 

257 
263 
271 

273 
276 

279 
283 
289 
291 

293 
295 
299 
305 
309 



CONTENTS — Continued 



XI 



1904 American Legation, Peking, June 20 . . .314 
American Legation, Peking, October 25 . .316 

Shanghai, November 12 318 

Nanking, December 6 328 

Han Kow, December 15 332 

cmnkiang and shanghai, december 2$ . .336 

1905 Steamer, January 6 338 

Swatow to Manila, January 9 . . . .341 

Steamer, March 14 342 

S. S. Siberia, April 17 347 

S. S. Siberia, April 28 ..... 360 

1906 Pasadena, California, March 20 . . . . 365 
Pasadena, California, November 4 . . -367 

1907 Pasadena, California, September 22 . . .371 

1908 Afterword, China's Bereavement, November 16 . 376 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

Page 
Her Imperial Majesty, The Empress Dowager of China {By 

Special Permission) Frontispiece 

Temple of the Moon, in Temple of Heaven . 4 

4 
10 
10 
10 
12 
12 

14 
16 
16 
16 



Open Altar, in Temple of Heaven .... 

Peilo on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 
Columns of a Gateway on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 
Gateway on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 

A Ramp to the City Wall 

The Great Wall of China 

Teak Columns in One of the Rooms at the Ming Tombs 
Stone Elephant on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 
Stone Priest on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs . 
Stone Warriors on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 
Our Four "Boys" at the Dining-room Entrance from the 
Court .......... 20 

Our Second Boy, with Hair Unbraided .... 20 

Our House Boys in "Full Dress" 20 

Marine Guards of Eight Nations 28 

Our Legation Drawing-room 36 

Chinese Officials Making Their New Year's Calls, January 

1,1905 • 38 

Ladies of the Diplomatic Corps and Four Interpreters Who 
Attended the First Audience Given to Foreign Women 

by the Empress Dowager of China 40 

Lu and His Family 52 

Water Clock 54 

Astronomical Observatory, Peking 54 

Examination Halls, Peking 56 

Camels and the Peking Wall 64 

A Coolie at His Work 64 

A Sample of Coolie Labor at Shanghai . . . . ,64 

Map of Peking 94 

"Miss Laura's Pony" — Saved by Wang . . . .118 

Mr. Conger's Pony — That Hated Foreigners . . .118 

xiii 



xiv ILLUSTRATIONS — Continued 

Prince Ch'ing, Premier of China, One of the Negotiators 

in 1900 .......... 130 

His Excellency Tsai Chien, Imperial Chinese Minister to 

Japan 136 

His Excellency Wu Ting Fang, Imperial Chinese Minister to 

America . 136 

Mr. Conger at Work 150 

"First Boy" Wang and His Family Before the Siege . . 160 

Wang and His Three Children Rescued After the Siege . 160 

Little Paul Wang 160 

Ch'ienmen Tower . . . 162 

The Great Temple for Imperial Worship, in Temple of 

Heaven .......... 162 

Bronzes in the Forbidden City 170 

Sir Robert Hart's Band 186 

Foreign Ministers Who Signed the Joint Note, February 6, 

1901 (By Permission) 196 

Lieutenant-General Adna R. Chaffee, U. S. A. (By Permission) 198 

High Priests in the Lama Temple 212 

Viceroy Li Hung Chang . . . . . . . 214 

General Yaun-Shih-Kai 216 

Court Princesses and Other Ladies Who Attended Mrs. 

Conger's Tiffin at American Legation, Peking, December 

26, 1903 (By Permission) . . . . . . .226 

Camel-back Bridge 238 

Marble Bridge and Pavilion at the Summer Palace . 238 

Three Hsu Sisters 250 

Wen Tai-tai, Niece of Duke Jung, and Her Little Daughter 250 
Wives and Daughters of High Chinese Officials Entertained 

at Our Legation Home, March 24, 1903 (By Permission) . 256 

Entering the Court from the Drawing-room . . . 262 

Afternoon in the Court 266 

Starting for the Palace to See Her Majesty's Portrait . 274 
Our Chinese Cart in Its Winter Dress . . . =274 

Moon Feast of Our Servants 276 

Princess K'e in Festive Attire 280 

Dowager Princess K'e . . . . . . . .284 

Princess Su 284 

Mongolian Prince and Princess, the Latter a Sister of Prince 

SU 284 



ILLUSTRATIONS — Continued xv 

Yu Fu-jen, Daughter-in-law of Prince Ting .... 294 

Yu Ta K'e-k'e, Granddaughter of Prince Ting . . . 294 

Industrial School Boys; Cloisonne Workers . . . . 298 

Grand Secretary Wang Wen Shao 306 

His Excellency Wang Kai-kah, One of the Commissioners to 

the St. Louis Exposition, 1904 306 

C. C. Wang, Legation Clerk, Now a Student in the United 

States . 306 

Prince and Princess Pu Lun and Family . . . .314 

Foreign Diplomats and Chinese Officials, 1905 . . . 320 

Algebra Class, Chinkiang Girls' School .... 334 

Granddaughters of Prince Ting 348 

Lu Tai-tai and Daughter 348 

Mr. Conger and His Legation Staff, January, 1905 . . 354 
Princess Shun, Sister of the Empress and Niece of the 

Empress Dowager (By Permission) ..... 366 



LETTERS FROM CHINA 



American Legation, Peking, 
July 23, 1898. 

WE ARE now in China! Six months ago we 
were living in our Brazilian Legation, quietly 
and happily settled, with no thought of leaving 
beautiful Petropolis. One night the unexpected cable- 
gram came that brought us to the Far East. 

If one most appreciates the pleasures of the senses, 
Brazil is the place to stay; if the pleasures of thought, 
China is the place to come. It was a cross, at first, to 
leave our beautiful gardens and the floral hills with their 
tall trees, luxuriant vines, orchids, ferns, mosses, parasitic 
plants of many kinds, and rich foliage of vivid colorings. 
The fruits in Brazil are delicious. Assuredly the five 
senses can feast in the tropics! 

What shall I say of China ? My thoughts are battling 
with one another. Will they ever come to a settlement, 
so that each may occupy its own province and do its own 
work? I shall strive for this settlement. Here every- 
thing seems beyond the reach of foreigners. China has 
fortified herself against the outside world as well as 
against her own people. She is a country of walls. 
The Great Wall of China is to protect her vast em- 
pire; the city and village walls, to protect the collected 
masses; the palace, compound, cemetery, and temple 
walls to protect the individual families in their homes, 

1 



2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

in their worship, and in their unfailing devotion to 
their ancestors. 

Peking, to all appearances, is a city of men. We 
seldom see the higher or official gentlemen and never the 
ladies. How I long to go behind these high walls and see 
something of the Chinese home life ! Can it be that good 
fortune will ever open these locked gates and invite me 
to enter? I dare not cherish one hope in this direction; 
the recorded history of more than thirty centuries tells 
me "No." 

Peking is composed of four walled cities: first, the 
Native City; then the Tartar City, containing the Imperial 
City and the Forbidden City, the latter being within 
the Imperial. 

The Native City is to the south of the Tartar. The 
Tartar City has massive walls, bastions, heavy gates, and 
immense gate-towers that can be seen miles away. By 
paying a few "cash" to the gate-keeper of the ramps, we 
are permitted to enter and spend leisure hours upon this 
wall, where we are above the filthy streets and can look 
down upon the strange scenes. From this height it looks 
like a vast city-beautiful with "the green things growing." 

In the south wall of the Tartar City are three gates, 
opening into as many broad thoroughfares. The middle 
gate, or the Ch'ienmen, is the largest and in every way 
the finest. It is protected by a walled court with four 
heavy gates. Within this court are two Imperial Temples 
where, in passing, Their Majesties offer prayers and 
sacrifices. The north gate of this court, which is the 
Ch'ienmen, leads into the Tartar City, on and on through 
many gates into the Forbidden City with its beautiful 
roofs of yellow tile. These imperial gateways and the 



TEMPLES AND GATEWAYS 3 

roofs are all we know of this forbidden place. The 
south gate of this walled court is the " Imperial Gate," 
through which no one but the Emperor and the Imperial 
Court is permitted to pass. It looks as though it were 
never opened. The two other gates opening from this 
court, one to the east and one to the west, are for the mass 
of the people. Above the south and north gates are 
massive towers of marble, granite, and brick, with 
wonderful teak timbers forming giant columns. The 
Temple of Heaven is at the east and the Temple of 
Agriculture at the west of the broad street leading south 
from the Imperial Gate. In special worship the Emperor, 
"The Son of Heaven," visits these temples. As foreign- 
ers are not permitted to enter these high-walled enclo- 
sures, all that we can see of these temples is their beautiful 
capped domes towering above the protecting walls. The 
"Temple of Heaven," of "Agriculture," the "Sun," 
"Moon," and "Earth" are national temples and no idols 
are in them. The finest sacred structure in China is the 
"Temple of Heaven" in Peking. 

While in South America I learned a lesson that is of 
great help to me here. When I went to Brazil in 1890, 
I was always comparing and contrasting that country and 
her people with my country and my people; and to me, 
mine were always superior. When returning home a 
year and a half later, I had time on my long journey to 
review my experiences and look over the thought treas- 
ures that I was bearing with me. To my surprise, my 
treasury was empty. I reflected, seeking the reason for 
this lack. I soon learned that the attitude of superiority 
I had taken made it impossible to accumulate anything. 
When I returned to Brazil, my attitude was changed; 



4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

I descended from my imaginary height with the deter- 
mination to seek with open eyes and a willing heart 
and I was amply rewarded. 

Now, in 1898, I have come to this far-off land and am 
somewhat prepared to seek, to see, to detect, to learn, and 
to bring into my life perhaps a little knowledge of the 
customs and home life of China and her people. 



[To a Sister] 

Western Hills, 
August 15, i8g8. 

WE sailed from Nagasaki and clean, beautiful Japan, 
the night of the twentieth of June, passed through the 
Yellow Sea, and reached Shanghai, China, on the twenty- 
third. We left our steamship, the Doric, some three 
miles out in the bay, and with regrets we waved our last 
good-byes as we sailed out from under her protection. 
She had been a home to us and seemed like a part of our 
own dear country. Many times we had gone out into 
the unknown cities and back again to her as a refuge. 

We remained in Shanghai eight days, but were only 
in the foreign concession. This concession is a modi- 
fication of both the Far East and the West. I never saw 
men work before! They do the work of beasts and are 
treated like beasts. China is thickly populated and the 
people cry out against any device that takes labor and 
support from their poor coolie classes. 

The Taotai of Shanghai made his official call, en- 
tertaining us later at a dinner which was half Chinese 
and half foreign, the courses alternating. The Chinese 
food was served in Chinese dishes and eaten with chop- 









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Temple of the Moon, in Temple of Heaven 
Open Altar, in Temple of Heaven 



THE LEGATION COMPOUND 5 

sticks, while the foreign food was served in strictly for- 
eign style. The Taotai speaks English well, and so does 
his secretary, who was educated in America. Toasts of 
welcome were given. The Taotai's wife was not present; 
in explanation he said, "My people do not approve." 

We reached Tientsin on Independence Day. The 
American Consul and his wife held a reception, thus 
happily remembering our country's birthday. We came 
by rail to Peking, or rather to the station five miles from 
the city. Three members of the Legation met us with 
sedan chairs, Peking carts, and the necessary mafoos, 
outriders, coolies, and baggage-carts. Our procession 
was formed, and we started for Peking. 

China seems to be one vast graveyard. Many, 
many graves, anywhere and everywhere, lay along our 
route to the city. After entering the gate of the Native 
City we still had quite a journey before reaching the gate 
of the Tartar City. Many of the streets were crowded 
with men. China surely is the country of the "blue 
gown." We at last reached the wall of the American 
Legation compound and entered the large gate, where 
Colonel Denby, the American Minister, met us. We 
had reached what was to be our home! It was not pre- 
possessing; the compound, however, was quiet, clean, 
and green. As we looked out of our windows and doors, 
it seemed almost as though we were looking into the 
woods. This was refreshing. A "compound" is a 
walled enclosure divided into courts with buildings. 
We remained in the American Legation compound three 
weeks before coming to the Hills. 

Foreigners had gone for the summer to the Western 
Hills, fifteen miles from the city, or to the seashore. 



6 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Those who go to the Hills live in temples, and our tem- 
ple, "San Shan An," was ready for us. We came out 
on ponies and donkeys. Our Chinese head boy with 
the many other servants moved what we needed. The 
dishes, glassware, sewing-machine, and like breakable 
things, had to be carried by coolies in baskets. We told 
our head boy what we wished to take with us, and he 
saw that it went. I never knew such wonderful servants 
in my life; they are quiet, gentle, kind, and willing. 
Each knows his own work and does it. We tell our head 
boy what we wish done, and he hands it on down to the 
one whose place it is to do it. We have many servants; 
this is a necessity here. Their wages are small, but in 
the spring and autumn we are expected to give them 
suits of clothes. We provide their dress suits, all their 
official hats, coats, boots, scarfs, and cuffs. At their New 
Year's season we are expected to give them a half-month's 
wages. Then, too, there is a "squeeze," or commission, 
on everything that comes into our Legation home. The 
servants are economical, and get along with the simplest 
equipment for their work. They bring good results 
from what we would call impossibles. We ask for some- 
thing that we wish to buy; they will say, "No got; no 
have Peking; Chinaman can make." And they do 
"make" and make it well. The paper on one of the 
rooms in the Legation was soiled. I asked if there were 
pieces like it; they looked and said, "No piecee — China- 
man can make." An aged man came, looked carefully 
at the wall, and in a day or two I received a dozen pieces 
of paper about two feet square, decorated by hand in the 
same pattern and colors as that on the wall. 

When I first went into my kitchen I was heart-sick; 



A CHINESE RANGE 7 

it seemed to me there was literally nothing with which 
to work, not even a range. I said to Mr. Conger, "We 
have an empty kitchen, no cooking-stove, or range, — 
what can we do?" 

"There is nothing of the kind to be obtained here," 
was his answer. "See the cook and learn what is needed 
and I will send home at once for the kitchen necessi- 
ties." 

The cook was interviewed, and his reply was, "All 
proper. Can get pans, and all proper." 

I looked in surprise and visited the kitchen again. 
Across one end was a piece of masonry about six feet 
long, three feet wide, and two and one-half feet high. 
This masonry had three small holes in the top, with 
loose bricks placed about them. At the front were cor- 
responding holes for the fire. There was no chimney! 
High in the room was an opening for the smoke to escape. 
There was an old-fashioned, foreign brick oven in a 
corner near this Chinese range. It seemed to me that 
no meal could be cooked upon such a thing, but the 
cook and the first boy insisted that it was "all proper," 
and the work then begun was continued. They have 
prepared many excellent course dinners upon it. These 
Chinese have methods of their own for obtaining results, 
but their methods are not ours. At first I tried to have 
them learn my way of doing, but I have already con- 
cluded to tell them what I want, and let them get the 
results in their own way; I am rarely disappointed. 

The wheelbarrow men and others, who do work else- 
where apportioned to beasts and mechanical contrivances, 
eat little else than two bowls of rice a day, and wear 
little clothing. Civilization (so called) brings the thought 



8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

to this country that their physical bodies cannot have 
strength with such food, nor keep healthy with so little 
clothing, and that their bodies will wear out in a few 
years. Yet these toilers are strong, do their work well, 
and are of good cheer. 

In our household the head boy manages the house 
work. He brings me the expense account, itemized in 
English, day by day; at the end of the month he brings 
in the entire expense account of all the departments. 
The other servants do work according to their grade. 
The coolies never give any personal service; the "boys" 
do that. I have learned to ring the bell and tell what 
I wish done, and the right one is told to do it by the one 
who responds to my call. If the boys did the coolies' 
work, there would be no need of coolies. These ser- 
vants never trespass upon one another's rights. 

It proves itself an axiom — "There are no idle people 
in China." They work steadily on, whatever the cir- 
cumstances, never showing nervousness in any degree. 
They work for hours consecutively, sleep when and 
where they can; they will even sleep while sitting on a 
moving camel, and I have seen them literally use a stone 
for a pillow. Many hidden meanings in the Bible are 
revealed to me here; as this nation has retained from 
generation to generation many customs common in Bible 
times. 

The Chinese are quiet and accurate in their methods. 
They handle large columns of figures, make delicate 
calculations, and no amount of confusion or jostling 
disturbs them; they work calmly on and seldom make 
mistakes. In Japan and in the foreign concessions I 
noticed that the banks employ the Chinese for their 



LIVING IN TEMPLES 9 

most important detail work. When in one of the large 
banks, I asked why the Chinese were employed in these 
responsible positions. The reply was: "The three 
principal reasons are that they are honest, self-possessed, 
and accurate. They move so quietly that we are aston- 
ished at what they accomplish." 

In these Western Hills are many temples composed 
of numerous courts and one-story buildings within a 
walled enclosure. We are greatly pleased with our 
temple. The priests and the worship of the gods are 
apart from us. There are diplomats and many Ameri- 
can and English missionaries in the Western Hills for 
the summer. I wish that you might see our temple 
home. From our broad veranda, with our field-glasses 
we can see the city fifteen miles away. Intervening is 
a far-reaching valley of green fields dotted with cemetery 
groves. All is quiet and restful. There are stone walks 
in many directions over these hills, and we take long 
strolls and donkey rides, as our ponies cannot climb 
the steep, rough paths. The donkeys are small, but 
sure-footed and carry us with safety. The donkey driver 
follows afoot encouraging the little beast to go faster 
or to be careful. The Chinese seem kind to their ani- 
mals, but I am told that all are not so kind. Yet I have 
seen little cruelty in China. Cruelty is a dark thread 
woven into the fabric of every nation and this thread 
weakens the fabric. 



io LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Nephew] 

Western Hills, 
September 75, 1898. 

WE left the Western Hills for a trip to the Great 
Wall and Ming Tombs on September 12. The outfit for 
the journey came from Peking, and to our amazement it 
consisted of a mule litter, which litter is composed of a 
driver, his pack donkey, and a large chair carried upon 
the backs of two mules. 

There were also four donkeys to ride, one donkey for 
pack, and four donkey-men; two carts, two men, and 
eight mules. In addition to these we took three ponies, 
first mafoo (stableman), head boy Lu, second boy Liu, 
first cook, and a coolie. Think of all this preparation 
for a four days' journey for four people! I assure you 
we formed an imposing procession. Mr. Conger started 
out on a pony; daughter and niece on donkeys with dark- 
blue velvet saddles trimmed with red, and about the 
donkeys' necks full strings of sleigh bells decorated with 
red tassels; and I in the mule litter. Each of the girls 
had with her a driver dressed in blue, who followed afoot. 
We took turn about in the litter, one hour each. 

The country is well cultivated, producing broom- 
corn, beans, millet, and buckwheat. But few acres go 
to make these Chinese farms. They are mere gardens 
in comparison with Iowa farms, yet they are larger than 
any we had seen before in China. Such thrift! Every 
part of every crop is utilized. The farmers live in vil- 
lages, and none but the dead occupy land that can be 
used for crops. In some parts of the country there are 
isolated graves; in other parts there are private ceme- 




Peilo on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 

Columns of a Gateway on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 

Gateway on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 



A CHINESE INN n 

teries, walled in. Within these walled enclosures are 
shrines, temples with idols, monuments, stone walks, 
and beautiful evergreen trees. We tiffined at one 
o'clock with same courses and form as when at home. 
The food, table linen, dishes, and flowers were brought 
with us. 

At three o'clock all was packed and we were on our 
way to Nankou, which we reached about six o'clock. We 
rode through the gate into the open court of the inn, which 
is dooryard and barnyard all in one. Our rooms were 
ready for us; but a Chinese inn is unlike anything 
we had ever seen. This inn is a compound containing 
many courts and one-story buildings. Each room is fur- 
nished with a stationary k'ang across one of its sides or 
ends. These k'angs, or Chinese beds, are from five to 
seven feet wide and about two feet high, walled and cov- 
ered with brick. Under them the Chinese build a fire 
in the winter. These Wangs are covered with reed mat- 
ting, and upon each is a small, low table. Each room 
is also furnished with a table about three feet square, two 
chairs, and two stools, or benches. The floors of the 
rooms are of brick, and there are paper windows and 
doors. At each stop we had two rooms and both were 
furnished the same; never more, and never less. Aside 
from these furnishings, our boys brought with us every- 
thing that we were obliged to use. Head boy Lu settled 
all bills, and the second boy Liu attended to the table and 
its belongings, and the packing of the mule litter. The 
coolie washed the dishes, made up the beds, and packed 
them. Every one had his part to do, and did it. Our 
duties were to put on our hats and gloves, mount our 
donkeys, fall into line, and go. There is peaceful beauty 



i2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

in this methodical way of doing; order and quiet is the 
Chinese rule for action. 

September 13. What an experience! The crowing 
of the cocks, the braying of the many donkeys, the bleating 
of the sheep, the constant ringing of the bells worn by the 
moving, laden camels in the endless caravan, rilled the air 
with dream melody all unreal to us, the night through. 

After a good breakfast we were off for the Great Wall 
of China, fourteen miles away. We left the carts at Nan- 
kou until our return. The ride through the Nankou pass 
was most delightful. It was up, up, up all the way, climb- 
ing a mountainous road which was, however, broad and 
well kept. On one side were sheer cliffs, on the other a 
rocky river-bed with its clear rippling stream. Such a 
happy ride ! On our way we saw many hundreds of fine 
camels; these camels rest during the day and travel 
with their packs at night. The prosperity of the 
country was shown by the fine flocks of sheep, in the 
hundreds of mules laden with wool, hides, tea, fruits, grain, 
fodder, cotton, and other commodities. We met pack- 
cattle from Mongolia with red-faced Mongol drivers. 
We also met a number of mule litters, a few carts drawn 
by mules, and many men riding on donkeys. All were 
bent on business, and we were forcibly impressed with the 
fact that the Chinese do not seek their pleasure in travel. 
This well-kept road is a direct pass over the mountains 
from Peking to Mongolia and Russia. Most of the roads 
that we have travelled in China have been poorly kept. 
The highways are mostly footpaths, which are sufficient 
for Chinese travel. 

We reached the Great Wall at ten o'clock, climbed to 
the top, then walked, and climbed on and on, up and down, 



A Ramp to the City Wall 
The Great Wall of China 



THE GREAT WALL 13 

until we reached an elevation where we could catch a fine 
view of the mountains and of this wonderful coiling, 
climbing, leaping thing. This Wall is wonderful indeed! 
It speaks of great engineering, great labor, great time, 
great expense, and patience without end. Its endurance 
tells much of the thought that was put into it; thought 
symbolical of protection, unity, strength. This Great 
Wall of China was built more than two hundred years 
before the birth of Jesus Christ, and the work was finished 
in ten years. Think of it, over two thousand years ago! 
It begins at Shan-hai Kwan by the sea and climbs over 
the mountains, across the northern boundary of China 
proper, until it reaches the desert of Gobi, north of Thibet. 
It is fifteen hundred miles long, about thirty-five feet wide, 
and varies in height from thirty to fifty feet. The facings 
are of brick several feet in thickness, the interjacent shell 
being filled with stone and earth stamped solid; it is sur- 
mounted with a paving of brick similar to that of the fac- 
ing. It is said that it took an army of three hundred 
thousand men to protect the builders, and more than a 
million men to build the wall. But your encyclopaedia will 
tell you all this — why should I go on ? 

Three monuments remain to remind the generations 
that the Emperor Ch'in Shih was a great man : first, the 
Great Wall of China, which he built; second, the title 
Huang- ti for Emperor, which he was the first to adopt; 
third, the name China. Still this man is remembered in 
China as a burner of books and a murderer of scholars, 
rather than as builder of this wonderfully aged wall, or 
founder of this immense and long-standing empire. We 
ate our picnic tiffin in one of the towers upon the Wall, and 
later we went through the gate into Mongolia, against 



i 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

which China was fortified. As we sat on the rocks in 
Mongolia musing and looking upon that aged, yet well- 
preserved, wall structure, and tried to realize that men 
over two thousand years ago walked upon that soil, made 
and placed those steadfast bricks, we were brought back 
to the "now." 

Here came quietly along an orderly drove of about 
two hunderd swine from the mountains of Mongolia. 
On close observation we discovered that each foot of each 
beast was shod with a leather sock to protect it from the 
sharp stones. Foolish, do you say? Not one of them 
seemed foot-sore, and they travelled on at their master's 
bidding without rebellion. I call this a wonderful phase 
of patience and economy. Patience in making and tying 
on those eight hundred socks, and economy in keeping 
the feet well, thus enabling these swine to make their long 
journey to Peking. Patience and economy are marked 
characteristics of the Chinese. At three o'clock we turned 
regretfully from one of the great wonders of the world and 
started down the mountains back to Nankou. The day 
was comfortable and closed with a brilliant sunset. 

September i/j.. We were off at seven o'clock, carts 
and all. We started for the Ming Tombs, and the 
carts for Ch'ang P'ing Chou. Along the way we passed 
through fine fields of fruits and grain, with beautiful 
mountains on the left. We finally entered a large amphi- 
theatre, with high hills almost encircling it. A rocky 
river-bed passes through this amphitheatre, and there are 
ruins of granite bridges ages old, with arches still perfect, 
grand in their magnitude. At the foot of these hills and 
encircling this amphitheatre are the walled tombs of thir- 
teen of the Ming Emperors of the last Chinese dynasty. 



THE MING TOMBS 15 

We arrived here at ten o'clock and obtained entrance 
to the gate leading into the walled grounds of the tomb of 
the Emperor Yung-lo, who reigned from 1403 to 1424. 
This tomb is the largest and finest of the thirteen. The 
main building in this enclosure is built of teakwood from 
Siam. For five hundred years this structure has stood 
the angry storms and the burning sun, and looks as though 
it might brave them for two thousand more. This 
building will hold many thousand people. We were told 
that if the Emperor ruled ten years, then ten thousand 
people must visit the place on the anniversary of his death 
and pay homage; if he ruled fifteen years, then fifteen 
thousand people must come; always a thousand for each 
year. Each Emperor builds his own tomb. We passed 
through this large building, with its colossal pillars of solid 
teak trees at least four feet in diameter and forty feet high. 
As we passed we noted Chinese inscriptions on the walls; 
the large centre-piece, with its furnishings; the altar, and 
the floors of polished squares of marble. From this build- 
ing we entered a court across which ran a broad stone 
walk to another building, the tomb proper. In the centre 
of this walk, midway between the buildings, is a long, 
massive fountain, so covered with decorated stone that the 
water is completely concealed. A crevice in the masonry 
permits the people to crowd in their handkerchiefs and 
draw out water with which they wash their eyes to heal 
them. Many of our servants took advantage of this 
privilege. On either side of the stone walk is a building 
completely covered with glazed yellow tile, for the burning 
of joss money. At the end of this avenue is still another 
large building and the last. Here we found an altar di- 
rectly in front of the door, and facing the first entrance. 



16 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The gates and doors opening into these courts and 
buildings are in a direct line with one another, thus giving 
the Emperor's spirit an unobstructed outlook, as it sits 
upon this altar-throne. We passed up through broad, 
poorly lighted tunnel passages, to the top of this building, 
which was builded into and against the high bluff. Here 
we found a large plain marble tablet with an immense 
granite arch over it. This tablet faced the first entrance 
and was in line with it. 

We left this place of the dead questioning what life- 
thought could have been manifested so long ago, to place 
those man-made memorials with the enduring! Those 
glazed yellow walls and roofs are still reflecting light with 
a glow. 

The direct road between Peking and the Ming Tombs 
was builded as many years ago as the tombs. This road 
also proclaims the thought of endurance. We took the 
broad, stone-paved road for Ch'ang P'ing Chou. On our 
route were more well-preserved bridge abutments, and 
arches centuries old. About three miles from the tombs 
we passed under a beautifully carved, massive stone 
gateway, or peilo, and entered the wonderful avenue of 
marble men and beasts. It was strangely imposing. 
First in line on each side were four priests, six or eight 
times natural size, cut out of solid blocks of granite and 
exquisitely carved in detail. They faced the centre of 
the avenue. After the priests were eight warriors on 
either side, making twenty-four statues in all. These 
warriors were carved with the same careful precision. 
Then followed twelve pairs of animals, one of each pair 
standing, and the other lying down. There were four 
horses, four unicorns, four camels, four elephants, four 




Stone Elephant on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 

Stone Priest on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 
Stone Warriors on the Avenue to the Ming Tombs 



GIANT MONOLITHS 17 

lions, and four tigers, in all twenty-four. We passed 
through two other gateways with high, erect columns 
standing as if defying time and time's destroyers. These 
three gateways were alike aged, but different in structure; 
all were massive and beautifully carved. The quality 
of that thought-force which placed those giant monoliths 
centuries ago has held them there; and those bridges 
cannot collapse with this inherent power through and 
through them. I was in the mule litter when passing from 
the tombs through these gates and this avenue; the litter 
passed outside the avenue, thus giving me a view of both 
front and back of the statues and also a picturesque 
view of the procession of pony and donkey riders, which 
were passing among these immense men and animals. 
Never shall I forget this thrilling dream-picture of my 
life! 

We reached Ch'ang P'ing Chou at one o'clock. Our 
carts had gone ahead; clean rooms and a most delicious 
tiffin awaited us. We were soon off for Shaho; again 
we passed through fine farming country, beautiful and 
well cultivated, reaching our destination at seven o'clock. 
Accommodations here were not good; Wangs were old 
and rough. 

September 75*. At six o'clock we left for home; and 
it was " Sweet home." We reached the Hills without 
serious or harmful accidents, and all went well from first 
to last. The servants were at all times kind and thought- 
ful; the litter-man managed his mules and chair with 
tact and ability. His mules and donkeys obeyed every 
word. The cart-men were prompt and skilfully man- 
aged their mules, carts, and luggage. The donkey-boys 
were attentive and watchful in their constant stepping 



1 8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

either at the heads or heels of the donkeys. There was 
no fuss nor flurry; everything was done for us quietly 
and on time. Each thing on the carts had its place as- 
signed it before leaving the Hills, and it stepped into it 
each time of starting and held it until it returned to the 
Hills. I put the bedding into boxes as it was to be used 
on our trip, and then the coolie packed it each time in 
just the same way. 

We reached home about noon, September 15. The 
old priest, boys, amahs, and coolies were standing out 
to welcome us. Everything in the house and yard was 
in perfect order; the rooms had been made fresh and 
clean, and bouquets of wild flowers made them bright. 
The first boy, Lu, settled with the men for carts, mule 
litter, and donkeys, and they slowly wended their way 
down toward the city of Peking. 



[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
December i6 y i8g8. 
OUR life in China is a dream from beginning to end. 
A strange dream, too! I wish that I could tell you of it. 
The whole line of Chinese thought is foreign to all other 
world-thoughts. At first it seemed to me that the Chinese 
had no method in their ways of doing, but I have since 
come to the conclusion that they have great method, and 
that they cling tenaciously to this method. There is a 
wonderful book opened before me; I try to study it, but 
I no sooner get an idea from one page than others turn 
and present conflicting ideas: it all seems incoherent, 
and thought becomes like a troubled sea. 



THE SERVANTS' "SQUEEZE" 19 

While I am studying the Chinese people, they are 
studying me with a quicker, keener perception than mine. 
Their almost unerring memory, their quick discernment, 
and their ready adaptation of "this" and of "that" is a 
power to them. And all this is but another expression 
of their marvellous economy. This economy extends 
even to their thought-processes; nothing is lost; every- 
thing is used to advantage. They read your varied ex- 
pressions of face and tones of voice, and when it is well 
to understand you they are wise; when it is better to be 
ignorant they are blank. As servants, I have become very 
fond of them. I cannot write about the higher classes, 
as I do not know them. 

The "squeeze" is a business with the Chinese — it is 
a percentage, and I take it to be a part of their system. 
The brightest and keenest ofttimes get the most. They 
get a little more and a little more from you until you are 
unwilling to stand it any longer, even in your most de- 
voted and best servant, and you tell him it is best for him 
to go; or he, suspecting that you are going to discharge 
him, comes to you and says, "I think, Madame, you best 
get another servant; I go. My mother sick." He does 
not wish to go, and says so; but in saying this to you he 
does not "lose face" by being dismissed. If any servant 
says his father, mother, grandparent, or any one else is 
sick and he must go, it is best to accept the situation and 
let him go. Many times there is trouble among the ser- 
vants themselves, and some are forced to leave. 

There are departments in the servants' bureau; the 
first cook is at the head of the kitchen; first washerman 
at the head of the laundry; first mafoo at the head of the 
stables; first gardener at the head of the outdoor work 



2o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

on the premises. The house-boys and many coolies are 
under the direct charge of the first, or head, boy. All 
these different departments report to this head boy and 
bring their monthly accounts to him; then he makes out 
the whole bill of each and all for the month. 

When we first came into this network of servants and 
watched their accounts, we thought it wise to make some 
changes. To illustrate, we saw that each department 
was buying its own coal, a little at a time. We thought 
it better to buy the quantity needed all at once and all use 
from one bin. No objection was made. It was not long, 
however, before complaints came to us. The cook 
could not cook well; the washerman could not wash 
and iron well; grates would not warm the house well. 
We asked what was the trouble, and found that each 
must have his own coal. "Don't like this coal." We 
understood. The coal " squeeze" was cut off from these 
departments. They did as before and all was harmo- 
nious. We find that it is the great exception where a 
foreigner can buy the daily necessities for his home as 
economically as can the heads of these different depart- 
ments. We have learned this from people of long 
experience in China, and also from our own short 
experience. 

Each morning there is brought to me a statement of 
the expenses of the preceding day. Not long ago I called 
my cook to me and said, "Your bills are too high; they 
must not exceed a stated amount." He told me many 
things that made them high, but I held my ground in a 
positive way. He then said, "Madame buy." I de- 
tected his game and laughed to myself, but said, "No, 
that is what I have you for. It is your business, not 




Our Four "Boys" at the Dining-room Entrance from the Court 

Our Second Boy, with Hair Unbraided 

Our House Boys in "Full Dress" 



INTRICATE SYSTEMS 21 

mine. If you cannot do it for that amount, I shall try 
to find some one who can." After talking a while in 
Chinese, the boy said to me, "Cook say, he try." That 
seemed to be settled, for we live just as well and bills are 
as I wish them to be. This cook has been in the Ameri- 
can Minister's kitchen for thirteen years. Our servants 
are at their best when we have company. The more 
company, the more "squeeze." They love money and 
they count it by the littles. The Chinese system of living 
is so intricate and so well learned and adhered to by all 
classes, that it " passe th understanding." I have thus 
early learned that I must be sure of my position and then 
with kindness, but firmness, hold it, and I gain my point. 

The Chinese seem to pet all vegetation, as well as 
animals, into their bidding. The donkeys, mules, and 
horses will mind their masters and be guided without 
lines. I have often thought that vegetation partakes of 
the nature of the people caring for it. Even inanimate 
things bespeak the thoughtful or neglectful care bestowed 
upon them. Here, where the people are so vastly differ- 
ent from other people, this is more pronounced; but I 
will not enlarge upon this subject now. 

While you are young let all things, as well as people, 
speak to you, and listen to them. Everything has a 
thought back of it, and, if we will, we can discern that 
thought. Even the poorest, most insignificant thing, 
has its warning, if nothing more. 

In reply to your inquiry I think it well for you to visit 
China for a year, but not with the thought of making it 
your home. You are young, and I suggest that you 
place yourself where many of the best opportunities will 
pass your way. Entertain these opportunities as they 



22 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

come, and permit them to make your living stronger and 
better. At your age do not forsake your home land and 
wander into the unknown. Mr. Conger receives many 
letters of inquiry about opportunities for young men in 
the Far East, and he does not portray the coming in glow- 
ing colors. It takes an almost iron-clad character to 
withstand the multiplied temptations that beset the for- 
eigner in China. He is almost wholly self-governed. 
Many of your "whys" will be answered during your 
one year's stay in this far-off, strange land. You will 
receive a heart- welcome from us all. 



[To a Niece] 

American Legation, Peking, 
December 17, 1898. 

IT has been some time since I last wrote you, and 
as history has been active here, I am going to turn to my 
diary and write some of its pages. A storm has long 
been brewing in the atmosphere of thought. 

September ig. Troubles for the missionaries in 
Hochou. We are still at the Western Hills. Mr. Con- 
ger has gone to the city. 

September 20. It seems wise to return to the city 
and stay there, as rumors of unrest are coming from 
different parts of the country, and Mr. Conger thinks it 
best to be at headquarters. 

September 23. Moved from the Hills to Peking. 
This day the Empress Dowager resumed the reins of 
government. There are rumors that the Emporer is 
ill and that we shall soon hear of his death. However 
stormy the day may be within the unknown Forbidden 



THE EMPEROR A PRISONER 23 

City, without all is quiet and everything apparently moves 
on in perfect peace. 

September 26. There were six Chinese men be- 
headed at four o'clock this morning. These men are 
said to have been friends of the Emperor. Rumor says 
that the Emperor was planning to imprison and kill the 
Empress Dowager, that she heard of the plot, and that 
now she jointly rules with him by a compelled edict issued 
by himself. The Empress Dowager made him Emperor, 
but in the hour of need he calls her to his assistance. 

September 2Q. The Emperor tried to escape. He 
reached the wall, but was brought back and imprisoned 
on an island in the Imperial grounds. Many Chinese 
who are friends of Western customs and enterprise fled 
from the city, or hid away. The trouble seems to be 
that the Emperor and his advisers wish to adopt Western 
ideas, even to the discarding of long-time customs and 
cutting off the queue. 

There is great delay in the opening of the Imperial 
University, of which Dr. Martin, an American missionary, 
is to be President for the "West," and a Chinese for the 
"East." Dr. Martin says that this institution will surely 
open, at least in part, this coming November. Appa- 
rently there is much trouble and distrust among those 
in authority. As the season advances, more dangers 
threaten. 

September 30. Foreigners were attacked by a mob 
on their way from the railroad station. Some of the 
Legation people and several missionaries were in the 
trouble. The missionaries could speak Chinese, but their 
protests had no effect. They went to the police station 
and asked for protection. The answer was, "We can 



24 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

give no assistance outside of our charge and precinct." 
At the station the foreigners took carts and chairs in which 
to return and chose another route, hoping thus to attract 
less attention. When the mob spied the chairs, it ran for 
them with yells, stones, clubs, and clods of dirt. The 
chair-bearers dropped the chairs and fled. One gentle- 
man had two ribs broken; others had their clothes torn, 
but were not severely hurt. The chairs were badly 
broken. Word was brought to Mr. Conger, and he at 
once sent to the Yamen and police station for protection. 
He then went to the mission; all the missionaries had 
gotten in and were safe in their compound. We soon 
learned of the others who were attacked; none were 
killed, A meeting of the Diplomatic Corps was called 
at once. The Corps is having much difficulty and anx- 
iety in knowing just how far to go, now that winter is 
coming on and Peking will be frozen in from the outer 
world. The Ministers wish to do nothing to endanger 
friendly relations with China. 

The British, Russian, Japanese, French, German, 
Italian, Austrian, and American Ministers asked their 
Governments for Legation guards and the requests were 
granted. The outbreaks are against foreigners in general. 
The mob cries: "Foreign devils!" "Kill!" "Kill!" 
The Yamen sent word to Mr. Conger that protection 
would be given. 

October i. Only a little disturbance to-day. There 
have been three holidays, and this seems to be the cause 
of the excited outbreak. 

Rumors are afloat — "Emperor poisoned." "Em- 
peror ill, very ill." "Emperor on throne with Empress 
Dowager." "Emperor imprisoned." "New Emperor 



FOREIGN TROOPS IN PEKING 25 

chosen," etc., etc. There is no way for the public to 
know the truth about these rumors; the work is done 
behind the scenes, in the Forbidden City. 

October 5. English and other marines are at Tientsin 
with guns. They boarded the train to come to Peking, 
but were ordered to leave or the train would not start; 
so it came without them. It is stated that the Empress 
Dowager doubted the loyalty of fourteen of her eunuchs 
and caused four of them to be strangled. 

October 6. Marines have not yet arrived. Rumor 
says that the Chinese wish the train to bring their own 
troops first, then foreign troops may come. The word 
has gone out to the common people that the Emperor 
is a friend to Western ideas, and is adopting them too 
rapidly, and that the Western nations are coming in upon 
China to divide her among them. This has aroused the 
Chinese to drive all the foreigners from their country. 
The Empress Dowager is regarded as a strong char- 
acter. 

October 7. The English, Russian, and German 
marines came from Tientsin and marched up Legation 
Street escorted by Chinese officials. These marines are 
cared for in the compounds of their respective Legations. 
It is a new sight and a sad one to see these foreign troops 
march into this capital city. Can we realize what such 
a condition means to a nation? 

October 8. It is reported that several eunuchs were 
beheaded through the orders of the Empress Dowager; 
she doubted their loyalty. 

October 13. More rumors about the Emperor. Some 
say he is dead; others say he still lives. Discontent and 
confusion are surely in the atmosphere, but apparent quiet 



26 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

reigns. It is thought that the Empress Dowager is be- 
coming frightened. 

October 15. Word comes from Washington that the 
Chinese Minister there says that the Emperor and Em- 
press Dowager are working in harmony. This is not 
true, as all here well know. Another cablegram from 
Washington states that the American marines are on their 
way to China to act as Legation guards. 

October 16, It is rumored that more eunuchs were put 
to death for taking, without permission, warm clothing 
to the Emperor, who is in prison. 

October 18. The Empress Dowager issued an edict 
asking for foreign doctors to visit the Emperor to see if 
they could detect the cause of his illness. The French 
Legation doctor was chosen, and was accompanied by a 
French interpreter. The Empress Dowager was present, 
with others. Nothing serious was reported. This settles 
for a time the whereabouts and the condition of the 
Emperor. 

October 23. More troubles. Foreign inspectors of 
the new railroad were attacked. Three foreigners were 
injured. The attack was made by undisciplined Chinese 
soldiers from the interior, who came here for a review. 
We see many of these troops about us. Some companies 
have the jingal, a large old gun that takes two men to 
carry. 

November 5. Lieutenant Dutton in charge of eighteen 
American marines, with Gatling gun, was escorted by 
the Chinese Government through the streets of China's 
capital, and into the American Legation compound. 
These are picked men for this special duty. They are 
fine-appearing men, every one of them, and they are our 



THANKSGIVING IN CHINA 27 

own people! These marines occupy four rooms of the 
Minister's house. The commanding officer occupies one 
room in the office building. All are in close quarters, but 
this is the only place of shelter for the winter. 

November 8. Marines are guarding us night and day 
with the utmost care. They perform their duties with 
promptness, and there is much about this obedience to 
law and order that I greatly admire. 

The thought was conceived to have the pictures of 
these eight Legation guards taken in one group, so they 
came together in the large grounds of the British Legation. 
The American marines marched to this Legation bearing 
the Stars and Stripes. None of the others had their flags 
with them. The eight different guards drew cuts for 
their places to stand ; the American guard drew the centre 
and there the men stand in the picture with their flag wav- 
ing! The American officer said afterwards, "No one 
seemed to object to the flag, and I, surely, could not, for 
it would have broken the men's hearts to give it up." 
Think of it! Was there ever such a picture? The ma- 
rines of eight nations peacefully standing side by side in 
a foreign land, and — well, look at it, and study it. 

The Japanese Minister with official papers from his 
country had an audience to-day with the Emperor and 
Empress Dowager. 

November 24.. Our first Thanksgiving Day in China! 
This national day is always observed at the American 
Legation in Peking. All the American missionaries and 
other Americans are invited to spend the day with the Min- 
ister and his family. At eleven o'clock about seventy 
people joined in song praises and listened to the patriotic 
sermon delivered by Dr. H. H. Lowry, of the Methodist 



28 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

mission. Although Dr. Lowry has been in China for 
thirty years and is devoted to his work, he loves his home 
land and keeps in touch with her people and her affairs. 
At one o'clock fifty-six persons partook of a Thanksgiving 
dinner in our home. The house decorations on this 
Thanksgiving day were beautiful. Chinese potted flow- 
ering trees, potted plants, and cut flowers smiled their 
happy welcome. Many large American flags played a 
conspicuous place in the decorations. When at home 
we love our flag, but when abroad we almost worship at 
its shrine. Over our gateway the Stars and Stripes 
waved the day through, proclaiming protection, peace, 
and good will. Good wishes were wafted across the great 
waters for loved ones, our president, and our country; 
praise songs and patriotic songs were enthusiastically 
sung, and loving thoughts were sent echoing and re- 
echoing on their long, long journey; but they soon reached 
their destinations, for they went on love's wings. Out of 
respect for our national day each Legation, as custom- 
ary, hoisted its flag and left it floating until the sun pro- 
claimed, "The day is ended." 

There was one cloud that cast its shadow over this 
bright day. Our marines had gathered in one of the 
rooms to join in our thanksgiving; the services had not 
yet opened when it was quietly whispered to Mr. Conger 
that one of the marines had the smallpox. He was in our 
very house, and as all the marines had been exposed, with 
quiet dignity they withdrew from the services. Mr. 
Conger thinking it best to tell those with us, made the 
announcement. Almost as with one voice the mission- 
aries exclaimed, "You cannot frighten us in that way; 
we come in contact with smallpox nearly every day of 



THE OLDEST NATION 29 

our lives." A doctor visited the patient, and arrangements 
were made at once to remove the patient to the Nan 
T'ang Catholic hospital. His comrades fearlessly stood 
by him, tenderly prepared his reclining chair, and tucked 
the covers about him. They never ceased their watchful 
care until the hospital doors received the afflicted one. 

November 25. Other simple quarters were prepared 
for the marines outside, but connecting with the Legation 
compound. 

December 16. A sad day! One of our American 
marines died from smallpox at the Nan T'ang hospital. 
In time of our great need this hospital has most kindly 
opened its doors, received, and with watchful care attend- 
ed, the smallpox cases among our marines. 

December 17. To-day, with all the honors that kind, 
true friends could give him, the marine was buried in the 
little British cemetery just outside the city. Already his 
comrades are arranging for a beautiful marble stone to 
be erected to his memory. We all mourn his loss. 



[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
December 20, i8g8. 
CHINA is the oldest continuous nation in the known 
world — is older than man has recorded. She has held 
her gates and doors barred against outside influences 
and peoples. She has conceived, developed, and carried 
into practice, within herself, a thoroughly organized and 
almost unchangeable system of laws and customs that 
for many centuries have made her self-sustaining and 
independent. 



30 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Marks of reigns prior to the authentic dynasties are 
visible, but recorded history does not claim them; it 
gives them over to imaginary gods and their imaginary 
doings. By constant manoeuvrings the foreigner has at 
last succeeded in prying open a little the locked door. 
Let us look through the door that stands ajar. What a 
view! What a revelation! It is not all dark, as we had 
supposed. The sun shines upon a vast territory that has 
the many climates of the globe. The soil is rich and 
yields a variety of agricultural products. There are 
wooded lands of great value; we find the earth has its 
valuable treasures in mines of gold and other precious 
metals. There are large beds of coal, and quarries of 
granite, marble, and jade; perhaps jewels unthought of 
are in China's domain. Although there are large, empty 
river-beds, China's water supply is not beggarly. As we 
look and reflect we detect the working hand of a mighty 
nation. This vast empire, ruled by its crowned Emperor, 
has lived right on in spite of many direful upheavals and 
overwhelming cloud-bursts. Methodical accuracy and 
adherence to fixed principles have kept China purely 
Chinese. The nation differs from other nations in gen- 
eral and in detail. It is claimed by some recognized 
authorities that quite authentic events can be traced back 
to 3000 years B. C. A nation of five thousand years' 
standing, or even of four thousand, is no child nor an 
imbecile. 

China has the oldest language now spoken upon the 
globe. Records show that this language is the mother- 
tongue of a far greater number of people than any other 
language of the past or present. It has undergone few 
changes; the written characters of China are over four 



THE WRITTEN LANGUAGE 31 

thousand years old. They were originally cut upon 
strips of bamboo; these strips were then tied in bundles 
and each bundle was called a "book." These "books" 
were carefully guarded. In the Ch'in Dynasty they were 
burned. Some were hidden away as great treasures, but 
few were saved. Later, a reproduction from memory 
was written, but much of the quality and quantity of the 
former production was lost. Characters have been added 
to the language only when it was necessary to express new 
ideas or when new requirements demanded them. The 
Chinese love and respect for education, and perhaps their 
great thought of economy,, have kept them from dropping 
any character, so the number as estimated ranges from 
250,000 to 260,000. Each character in this language re- 
presents a complete idea, but its meaning is modified as 
it takes its place in relation to others. The alphabet is a 
stranger to the Chinese language. 

What can be learned of China's early history portrays 
a civilization superior, at that date, to that of most parts 
of the outer world. Astronomy seems to have quietly, 
but positively, imparted its unfailing light to mankind, 
civilized or uncivilized, through all periods; and this 
unfailing light appears in the first glimpse we have of 
China's existence. 

To-day, the world is seeking with earnestness to 
learn about the hitherto unknown Orient. It will be 
compelled to work patiently, diligently, and with a good 
spirit, if it would learn much of China and her people. 
The outside man with his aggressive force cannot recog- 
nize and know the true value of the inner man. If we 
can win the heart of man or beast we have won a victory 
for influence and power. The fable of the bar of iron 



32 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

lying upon the cross log to be broken, serves to illustrate 
this point: The hammer said, "I can make it yield"; 
but at its first fierce blow, it flew from the handle and fell 
upon the ground, helpless. The axe then said proudly, 
"I can succeed." It struck two or three blows and its 
broken edge was worthless; it left scarcely an impression 
upon the bar of iron. The saw then stepped forward and 
said, "I, with my sharp teeth, will soon sever it." As 
it drew its teeth to and fro, they were all broken; the iron 
remained the same as before. A quiet, warm flame said, 
"Let me try, it might yield for me." The little flame 
twined itself about the iron in a gentle, loving way, im- 
parting an influence that finally made it yield and fall 
apart. Thus it is with aggressive force and winning 
consideration. 

The Chinese are skilled as sportsmen, athletes, 
sleight-of-hand performers, and contortionists. They 
are great lovers of music, theatricals, and other amuse- 
ments, with styles peculiarly their own. They are also 
great lovers of children and pets. While they have always 
had their liquors and wines, intoxication is seldom known. 
They are an industrious, patient, secretive people, with 
wonderful memories that serve them well. Their edu- 
cation is classical, severe, and peculiarly China's own; and 
it is the only road to high political recognition and honors. 
The results of their many labors are remarkably fine 
in richness, durability, and beauty. Their architecture 
is unique and each part in detail has its meaning. A 
special significance seems to be woven into all their 
thoughts, whether they are manifested materially or 
not. The manifested affects the unmanif ested ; the 
seen influences the unseen, and vice versa. They do not 



RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES 33 

recognize the advisability of changing their pursuits; 
hence they strive to perfect their work, taking no account 
of time or labor. The sons follow the callings of their 
ancestors. Ofttimes the secret of producing certain 
styles of art and other fine productions is so carefully 
protected that it is buried with the producer, thus enhan- 
cing the value of these treasures to fabulous prices. 

The religion of China is built upon many theoretical 
ideas, and is modified by them. It is a combination of 
Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, and other teachings. 
The rituals or sayings of a religion do not make up the 
real character of persons or nations. All religions have 
some of the true and good in their teachings, and the 
value of these teachings depends upon the depth to which 
they enter the hearts and minds of their advocates. In- 
dividuals and nations differ according to the God they 
truly worship in the secret chambers of their hearts. 

When I first came to China I found that workmen 
would come and work on Sunday just the same as any 
other day. I called my head boy and said, "I do not 
wish these workmen here pounding to-day; it is Sunday." 
He respectfully replied, " Chinaman don't know names of 
days; he has dates. If you send him away to-day he lose 
one day's work." I reflected upon the situation. From 
that time they have commenced their work for me on 
Monday, or such a day as to finish before Sunday. My 
ideas of right should not be so arbitrary as to deprive 
them of a day's wages. Three hundred and sixty-five 
days in the year their temples and shrines are open for 
their worship. They enter and perform their religious 
services, then pass on to the performance of their daily 
labors. 



34 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The Chinese are not a warlike people; they wish to be 
let alone and have no desire to intermingle with other 
nations. They wish to live, to die, and to be buried in 
their own land and under their own Dragon flag. I will 
not write you about China's treaties with other nations, 
her opium war, and other earlier and later wars, her 
political career with its bright and cloudy days, and how 
she is treated by foreigners. You can read and reread 
of these things in many books. But I will try to portray 
for you in my letters what I see, and my impressions. 
Perhaps you can read between the lines and catch many 
ideas that I do not write. 



[To a Niece] 

American Legation, Peking, 
January 8, i8gg. 
IN December Mrs. Gamewell kindly went with me to 
visit "The Woman's Winter Refuge," a home for aged, 
destitute Chinese women without relatives. This home 
is a Chinese compound with several houses. There are 
paper windows, stone k'angs covered with matting, a 
few benches and tables, and earthen floors. The aged 
women who have no place to stay, except in the street, 
lie close together on these k'angs with simplest bedding, 
small pillows, and no sheets. Their much- treasured bath- 
room is the crudest of the crude. They have the simplest 
food, but no tea. Their clothes are old, poor, and patched. 
The thought is simply to keep them from freezing and 
starving, and not to encourage them in the desire to be 
helped. To me there was nothing — literally nothing — 
to be called a "home." Those who know how the masses 



A CHARITABLE HOME 3 S 

of the Chinese live say, "This is good and all right." 
I tried to be pleased. 

Lady MacDonald, of the British Legation, is President 
of the Association that has this home in charge. I, of 
the American Legation, am Vice-president; Mrs. Pritt- 
wit, of the German Legation, is Secretary; and 
Mrs. Brazier, of the Imperial Customs, is Treasurer. 
These officers form the Finance Committee which raises 
money for the support of this home. Nearly all the 
missions in Peking have representatives in the Executive 
Committee, which does the work of the Association. 
What would the members of the Home for the Aged, in 
Des Moines, Iowa, think of this meagre institution! In 
the United States, what we call an educated thought, has 
made it possible to bring out better results on a higher 
plane, and also to bring together people with stronger 
characters in a Home, but I doubt if they are more 
grateful. 

Oh, this strange, strange old country! Its hidden 
meaning I cannot find. I wish that I could know what 
these Chinese think. I look at them and wonder what 
is under the calm surface. Sometimes I see them un- 
observed and they are merry, full of fun, and have innate 
grace. In everything our standpoints and modes of 
action differ. We seem to be travelling in different 
directions — growing farther apart. Will the time ever 
come when we shall be of one mind ? 

Mr. Conger, the girls, and I visited a Methodist 
Mission Sunday School. First the Chinese students of 
the mission school came with dignity into the fine large 
church. Then the gate opening into the street was un- 
locked and the street children came running in. The 



36 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

church was well filled, over seven hundred being present. 
There are many classes, of four and five pupils each. 
Chinese boys and men taught boys and men; Chinese 
girls and women taught girls and women. These street 
people gave good attention. Our American workers 
took us from class to class through the church; each 
child and each adult seemed to mind his own business 
and attend closely to the lesson. 

We returned to our places in front of that mass of 
people where we observed, as a whole, what we had seen 
in detail. The bell rang, and all was attention; it was 
announced that kind friends from America had sent 
them beautiful cards! They were advertising cards. 
Would that the ones sending them could have seen the 
joy they gave to these poor children whose lives are 
almost devoid of sunshine! We felt richer when we left 
the church. 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
January 8, i8gg. 

THE kaleidoscopic views increase ! China is surely a 
strange land, but each day I see more to count as of value 
to me. The Chinese as a class do not have severe, 
grieved, anxious, revengeful, unresigned, or unhappy 
expressions on their faces. They do not grieve over 
their misfortunes, nor do they rejoice over their suc- 
cesses; both the ill and the good they take as due them. 

Our house boys do not look like married men with 
families, but they are. They are so quiet, attentive, 
careful, tasteful, and exact about their work that they 
seem more like well-bred girls than men. They wear 



UNDERLYING MEANINGS 37 

long gowns, sleeveless jackets, broad white cuffs, velvet 
hats, and boots. Our amah (maid) is married, but has 
no children; so she and her husband have adopted two 
boys. This amah looks after things in our private rooms, 
helps us dress, and makes the coolies " walk." If they 
neglect their duties she says, " Naughty coolies," calls 
them to time, and they come back and do better. The 
servants anticipate our wishes, and in their watchfulness, 
know them quite well. 

Their religion does not give them a Christmas Day, 
but they know that ours does. As we opened our front 
door on Christmas morning we saw on either side of 
the steps a little evergreen tree in a pretty painted porce- 
lain pot. These trees were decorated with many styles 
of most intricately cut paper people, animals, birds, bats, 
and flowers in colors. On the soil in the pots were clay 
birds beautifully covered with feathers, and by the side 
of one pot was a good-sized, toy Peking pug dog, chained. 
We appreciated the kind thoughts that prompted the gifts. 
Everything, trees and all that was upon them, brought 
their message; and first boy Lu told us what they said. 
What all the little things as well as the larger ones stand 
for is wonderful! Everything has an underlying mean- 
ing; the simplest things are not " common" when you 
hear what they say to you. Do you think it strange 
that I am becoming interested in these people? As our 
Christmas callers might not be able to understand the 
many good wishes that these gifts are forever proclaim- 
ing, we took them into the library with our other dear 
gifts. I can never tell you what a field of thought opened 
as I sat meditating upon that scene before me. I wish 
that I could write of it accurately. Into that Christmas 



38 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

room a new thing had entered; it brought a soft light in 
its simplicity that lighted anew all that was there. 

On New Year's Day the four house boys came to 
the library before breakfast and, with a Chinese cour- 
tesy from all at once, the first boy said, " Madame, Happy 
New Year." This compliment was given each member 
of our family. After breakfast the other servants, 
dressed in their best, came into the large hall to pay their 
respects. There was a host of them. The first boy 
said, " Madame, servants want to wish you well." We 
went to the hall and each servant courtesied with right 
hand to the floor to each one of us. This was done in a 
quiet, dignified manner, but with smiling faces. They 
went in a body to the office, "to wish Minister well," 
and to each Secretary and Secretary's home in the com- 
pound, according to rank. After this was over, the first 
boy came again and again until all the servants of each 
Secretary had paid their respects. Later, the first boy 
came once more and said, "Madame, soldiers want to 
wish you well." We stepped to the door and in front 
of us stood in line twenty Chinese soldiers who saluted 
us. These soldiers have been guarding the American 
Legation at the gate of the compound since the troubles 
in the Fall. 

On the fifth of January the members of the Tsung 
Li Yamen and other Chinese high officials made their 
official New Year's call. Three days before, word had 
been sent to all the foreign Ministers that, if agreeable, 
the members of the Yamen and other officials would 
pay their respects in person. They came in three com- 
panies of ten or twelve in each company. These men 
of wealth and high official standing came in sedan chairs, 





Chinese Officials Making Their New Year's Calls 
January i, 1905 



THE EMPRESS DOWAGER 39 

lined with fur, and each carried by four chair coolies 
in uniform. Many outriders and men on foot accom- 
panied them. They were not expected to see the ladies, 
but the ladies saw them. These men were richly dressed 
in the finest of long sable garments; rich, heavy 
silk and satin undergarments; velvet and fur boots, 
sable hats with official buttons; and peacock feathers. 
Their long strings of valuable beads were rich with jade 
and costly jewels. These men were rather fine looking 
and had exceedingly polite manners. Mr. Conger and 
his Legation staff received them just outside the door. 
Our four boys in uniform stood on either side of the 
steps, ready to assist if needed. These officials were 
escorted to the drawing-room and shortly to the dining- 
room, where a table was spread for them. They remained 
about three-quarters of an hour. When cards announced 
the coming of the second company, the first company 
took its departure. The second company remained until 
the coming of the third, then withdrew. The entire 
visit was interesting. 

There is another thing that I must tell you about — 
something of more importance than these New Year's 
calls — the visit of the foreign Ministers' wives to the 
Imperial City. It is stated, and said to be true, that 
Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager, had never seen a 
foreign lady, and that a foreign lady had never seen her. 
The idea was conceived that Her Majesty be asked to 
grant this audience, as the ladies of the Diplomatic Corps 
wished to pay their compliments to Her Majesty on the 
event of her sixty-fourth birthday. After much delay 
and manoeuvring the audience was granted. 

December thirteenth was chosen as the day for the 



4 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

reception. At ten o'clock a mounted Chinese escort 
sent by the Yamen went to each Legation to escort the 
ladies to the British Legation, as Lady MacDonald was 
Dean. Each lady was in a sedan chair and had five chair- 
bearers and two mounted mafoos. We started from the 
British Legation at eleven o'clock for the Imperial Win- 
ter Palace. We formed quite a procession with our 
twelve chairs and sixty bearers. The Dean of the Diplo- 
matic Corps and four interpreters joined us here, in 
chairs, with eighteen mafoos and sixty mounted escorts. 
Each Chinese was dressed in his official rank uniform. 
When we reached the first gate of the Winter Palace we 
had to leave our chairs, bearers, mafoos, escorts — all. 
Inside the gate were seven red-upholstered court chairs 
in a line, with six eunuch chair-bearers each, and many 
escorts. We were taken to another gate inside of which 
was standing a fine railroad coach presented to China 
by France. We entered this car, and eunuchs dressed in 
black pushed and hauled it to another stopping place, 
where we were received by many officials and served 
with tea. This railroad passed through a beautiful city, 
clean and imperial. After a little rest and tea-sipping, 
we were escorted by high officials to the throne-room. 
Our heavy garments were taken at the door, and we were 
ushered into the presence of the Emperor and Empress 
Dowager. We stood according to rank (longest time 
in Peking) and bowed. Our first interpreter presented 
each lady to Prince Ch'ing and he in turn presented us 
to Their Majesties. Then Lady MacDonald read a 
short address in English on behalf of the ladies. The 
Empress Dowager responded through Prince Ch'ing. 
Another low bow on our part, then each lady was es- 



AUDIENCE AT COURT 41 

corted to the throne where she bowed and courtesied to 
the Emperor, who extended his hand to each. We then 
stepped before Her Majesty and bowed with a low cour- 
tesy. She offered both her hands and we stepped for- 
ward to her. With a few words of greeting, Her Majesty 
clasped our hands in hers, and placed on the ringer of 
each lady a heavy, chased gold ring, set with a large 
pearl. After thanking Her Majesty, we backed from the 
throne and took our places as before. Again we bowed 
low and backed from their Imperial presence. 

We were then escorted by many officials, eunuchs, and 
highly painted and decorated young Chinese women to 
a banquet-hall, where a large table was bountifully 
spread with Chinese food. Prince Ch'ing, Princess 
Ch'ing, and five other princesses sat at the table with us. 
Princess Ch'ing was dressed in most exquisite embroid- 
eries, rich satins and silks, with pearl decorations. She 
was not painted, but her hair was richly dressed. The 
young princesses were beautifully and carefully gowned 
in rich, finely embroidered, bright-colored satins. Their 
faces were painted, their hair was extended and elabor- 
ately ornamented with pearls, tassels, and flowers. Their 
long nails were protected by jewelled gold finger shields. 
Everywhere with us were Chinese interpreters, who spoke 
well both English and French. After this feast we were 
invited into other rooms and served with tea. The table 
was cleared away, and we were invited back to the 
banquet-hall. To our surprise, there on a yellow throne- 
chair, sat Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager, and we 
gathered about her as before. She was bright and happy 
and her face glowed with good will. There was no 
trace of cruelty to be seen. In simple expressions she 



42 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

welcomed us, and her actions were full of freedom and 
warmth. Her Majesty arose and wished us well. She 
extended both hands toward each lady, then, touching 
herself, said with much enthusiastic earnestness, "One 
family; all one family.' ' She presented the Empress, 
the Emperor's wife, who gave her hand to each. The 
Empress, a beautiful young Chinese lady, wore the rich 
clothing and valuable decorations of her Imperial rank. 

The Empress Dowager bade each lady good-bye, then 
preceded us to the theatre building. With our large escort 
we followed, and saw a Chinese theatre at its very best. 
Interpreters explained the plays, and tea was served fre- 
quently during the hour we were in the theatre. Again we 
were escorted to the banquet-hall and seated as before. 
We were taken then to other rooms and the banquet-table 
was removed. Once more we were permitted to see Her 
Majesty; she was seated in her throne-chair and was 
very cordial. When tea was passed to us she stepped for- 
ward and tipped each cup of tea to her own lips and took 
a sip, then lifted the cup, on the other side, to our lips and 
said again, "One family, all one family." She then pre- 
sented more beautiful gifts; alike to each lady. 

After this wonderful dream-day, so very, very unreal 
to us all, we reached home, intoxicated with novelty and 
beauty. Everything had been done for us! Only think! 
China, after centuries and centuries of locked doors, has 
now set them ajar! No foreign lady ever saw the Rulers 
of China before, and no Chinese ruler ever before saw a 
foreign lady. We returned to the British Legation and 
in happy mood grouped ourselves for a picture that would 
fix in thought a most unusual day — a day, in fact, of 
historic import. December 13, 1898, is a great day for 



ISOLATION OF EMPEROR 43 

China and for the world. Think of this! English was 
the first language spoken at Court to Their Majesties 
by foreign women. English, modified, is the commercial 
language of China, and in its purity has been carried to 
the very throne of China by a woman. 

My first boy tried to impress upon me what a great 
thing had come into my life. He said, " Madame, much 
great thing come to you. Emperor come down from 
heaven. No foreign lady see him, few Chinese men. 
He came down from heaven. You very blessed. Cook 
say, no one see Emperor. He great. He come down from 
heaven." He was unusually earnest; evidently he wished 
to impress upon my mind the great honor and blessing 
we had received. The Emperor is a sacred personage to 
the Chinese. He is not to be seen by his subjects, nor is 
he to see them. He is screened and protected as he goes 
to the temples to worship, and as he goes to and from the 
Summer Palace, or the Imperial Tombs. He learns noth- 
ing of his country or countrymen by observation or con- 
tact. How can this great Empire grow in strength and 
glory when her rulers are in such bondage ? 

Everything about China is the extreme of all that we 
can dream. You wish something, and you say to your 
first boy, "Can you get?" He will say, "I see." He 
does see, and it comes. Beauties come out of the most 
impossible places. These Chinese just quietly manifest 
things. They are never in a hurry, never excited. They 
count their labor as little, and if you do not like what 
they have, it is "All samee; I take back." 

The winters are delightful in North China. The ther- 
mometer rarely registers below zero. There is little 
snow and no rain during these seasons. Sometimes we 



44 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

see a yellowed horizon. A colored spectre, as a rain 
cloud, rises and comes nearer and nearer and the servants 
hasten to close every door and window. It is a dust storm! 
These storms at times rage three days and we are com- 
pelled to bar our doors against their ill- temper. But 
such storms are infrequent visitors, and we are on our 
ponies nearly every day, summer and winter, and with 
comfort take two or three hours' ride. When riding 
during the autumn and winter we see large numbers of 
camels carrying coal to the city from mines twelve and 
fifteen miles distant. One coolie has a train of several 
camels fastened tandem by means of a rope. The last 
camel in each train wears a large bell and the constant 
striking of these bells makes a concert of noise devoid of 
harmony. We are told that there are five thousand of 
these camels coming every day into Peking. It is not 
hard for us to believe this statement, for we see an almost 
endless caravan of these methodically stepping, slowly 
moving, ugly-looking men and beasts. These thousands 
of camels spend the summer on the plains of Mongolia. 
They leave Peking with shaggy, dirty coats, limp humps, 
and skeleton-like bodies; and return to duty in the autumn 
with fresh, beautiful coats, upright humps, and plump 
bodies. The camel drivers are almost as mute as the 
beasts they drive. Study this picture, there is a lesson in 
it; each station in life has its demands; these demands 
vary as do the views from the base to the top of a high 
mountain. 



THE CHINESE CHARACTER 45 

[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
February 1, i8gg. 

THE following is found in the ancient books of China 
and is handed down to the present time, believed and 
sanctioned: "The powers that be are ordained of 
Heaven." Believing in the power of bad as well as of 
good, the Chinese accept the bad or the good that comes 
to them. They do not believe in change, and this idea, 
unmodified, has come down to the people of to-day. I 
am told that history records few attempts to modify the 
Chinese form of government — a government that has 
reached over a far greater period of time than any other 
system of authority on earth. Surely there must be virtue 
in a cement that will bind together a great people unbroken 
through many centuries. Those who know the Chinese 
best tell me that they are cautious, slow, and conservative ; 
that they have a sturdy independence of character and a 
strongly developed love for their rights. They rarely 
adopt the methods of other people, but reach the same end 
in their own way. I have already seen much in the Chi- 
nese character to respect, and much that, to me, is unat- 
tractive and bitter; but I try constantly to keep in mind 
the fact that there are bitter herbs and poisons to be found 
in other lands. 

As I am here and watch, I do not wonder that the 
Chinese hate the foreigner. The foreigner is frequently 
severe and exacting in this Empire which is not his own. 
He often treats the Chinese as though they were dogs and 
had no rights whatever — no wonder that they growl and 
sometimes bite. Would that more of the Christ-spirit 



46 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

could be shown them by these people coming from Chris- 
tian lands! Neither the " young West/' nor " young 
America," has all in its store of knowledge. Might it 
not be well to watch and search? Even in the "dark" 
nations unknown lights might be discovered. 

I often liken the intricate system of this great empire 
to a clock; it has its wheels, great and small, with their 
many cogs, each doing its own part. Foreigners, ignorant 
of its mechanism, come along and say, "I don't like that 
cog; it is objectionable, and I'll remove it." Thus 
they break into a system that through the centuries has 
been worked out, and that gives to each wheel its neces- 
sary, decisive work. In this breaking of cogs, the whole 
system is disarranged, and no better one is put in its place. 

The will of the Emperor is the final command and the 
highest officials must obey. They often struggle with 
their many duties early and late, with scarcely time to eat 
or sleep. These officials are said to be the hardest- worked 
people in the Empire. All classes seem to be slowly, but 
diligently, industrious. As I am with these Chinese and 
study them, I feel that there is a deep, reserved force in 
their character that will some day show itself in unknown 
directions. 

The worship of the Chinese ancestors, so far as dis- 
covered, is as old as the race, and is the most deeply rooted 
of all their religious forms. The Chinese make pilgrim- 
ages to their tombs twice a year to petition the gods to 
care for and protect the departed souls of their ancestors. 
This worship has its virtuous and elevating effect upon 
these people. They show their parents the greatest re- 
spect and consideration while with them, and visit their 
tombs with a living thought. 



LOVE FOR CHILDREN 4 7 

If no children come to a family, they buy or adopt a 
child that they may have one or more sons or grandsons 
to visit their graves. Our second amah came to me a few 
days ago and said, " First amah have little boy baby." I 
asked if I might see him. It was granted me. A strange 
man was holding a small, bright-looking child inside his 
coat against his bare body. I said, "Amah, your baby? 
Where did you get it?" "I have no baby," she replied; 
"this man have many, can't feed 'em. I buy baby. My 
sister has small baby and keep my baby." The baby 
went to the sister that day. 

An amah was here with one of my guests from Shang- 
hai. This amah approached her mistress asking if she 
could go out into the city and try to adopt or buy a little 
girl-child as her own. She explained, "I once married, 
unhappy, had no child. Servant tell me of little girl, 
I get her cheap. I take her home my muder, and we 
raise her and marry her nice man, and I have home old 
age." She added in a most forlorn tone, "I sorry, I no 
child." If they have no children they are poor indeed, 
for they have no one to mourn over them nor to worship 
at their graves. Love for children is one of their greatest 
passions and it seems to be a redeeming one. 

The amah went to see the child, but came back without 
it, as the price w r as too high. She seemed to be a good 
woman, so I said, "I will go to a mission and see what I 
can do for you there." I had in mind the many hundreds 
of street children that I saw at their Sunday school. She 
said, "Oh, thankee, missie, I very glad. I take girl, pay 
school, and she grow nice girl. I get nice husband her, 
and they go my house, and they give me chow when I old. 
I no child. No one give me chow. I give muder chow. 



48 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Muder die; no one give me chow. I old; no one mourn 
my grave." 

I went to the mission and stated my case and two of 
these good people listened patiently to my story. They 
have been in China for over thirty years and know the 
language and the people. They quietly said, " People here 
have to be very careful in giving what they call assistance. 
If we should in any way render assistance to this woman 
and any misfortune should befall any of them, they might 
come back on us, or on you, or any one who interested 
himself in this woman or child, and cause a great deal of 
trouble. It is better to let them do their own work in their 
own way, unless you know just what you are doing, and 
for whom. This woman may be all right, but she may be 
buying this girl to make her a slave. She may be filling 
up the dance houses, or she may wish the child for a 
worse fate. She may be buying many little girls with this 
same story. She says that her husband is a bad man. 
If she has a husband, any child that she takes as hers, 
he may have if he chooses, and have more supervision 
over the child than she could hold." 

I returned home wiser, and these words stared me in 
the face with a piercing, living glow: "Mind your own 
business and let others mind theirs." Our ideas of help 
to others are often slavish, and do not lead up to liberty. 
Let us watch that we may do the right thing in the right 
way for individuals and for humanity. 



FOREIGNERS IN CHINA 49 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
February 2, i8gg. 

THERE are educated Americans here who have spent 
many years striving to learn of the inner lives of the Chi- 
nese, to get near to them, and to teach them a " broader " 
thought. China is little by little opening her doors to 
the world, but she does this reluctantly. Foreigners 
cannot imagine how completely she has lived to herself, 
until they come among her people. While other nations 
have mingled, modifying one another, China has walled 
herself in, not allowing one ray of thought to enter or go 
out, for century after century. Her ideas of right and 
wrong are foreign to ours. I am much interested in talk- 
ing with those who have been here longest and who have 
mingled most with this strange people. 

In China the natives are so purely Chinese that the 
foreigners stand out as distinctly foreign. In Peking the 
Austrian, Belgian, Dutch, English, French, German, 
Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, and American, with 
their marked individual characteristics, form an inter- 
esting color picture; but the positive, individual colors 
shade off into a blending that is quite harmonious as a 
whole. How do these foreigners appear to the Chinese? 
Many times I feel ashamed that we do not appear more 
like civilized people. Our ignorance and extreme pre- 
judices make us appear in a bad and untrue light ; we are 
really better than we seem. If we strive with patience 
and good will to understand Chinese life and its expres- 
sion, many of our prejudices will pass away, and we shall 
be able to see more clearly. 



So LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Except on some special days, the many temples are 
open day and night. The priests hold all the joint 
service; the worship of the masses is individual. The 
form is simple, and occupies only a few minutes. I have 
often seen these people at worship. In the temples 
there are in front of the Buddha five receptacles; in the 
centre there is an incense-burner and at either side a 
candle-stick and a vase. The worshipper enters and pur- 
chases from the priest sticks of burning incense, which 
he places in the incense-burner. There is a mat in front 
of the altar, and upon this mat the worshipper kneels and 
prostrates himself three times before the idol. A drum 
is sounded during this ceremony. The rites having been 
performed, the worshipper goes about his work. Some- 
times worshippers hold these sticks of burning incense 
while prostrating themselves, and then afterwards place 
them in the burner. What these temples with their 
different gods and the ancestral worship mean to these 
devout people, or say to them, I have not yet learned. 
What is in their ancestral halls, or what their ceremony 
is on their worship days, I will not try to write you, for I 
know nothing of them save what I have learned from 
books; you, too, can go to them for information, so I will 
write only of what comes under my own observation. 

The honor of woman is her child-bearing, and the 
more boys the greater the honor. The better classes of 
Chinese women never see foreign men and seldom meet 
men of their own people. I am told that they do not 
labor; a noble life-work is done if they bear even one or 
two children. I wish that I could see these ladies in 
their home life. If I ever do, I will let you rejoice with 
me. As men perform the rites at the graves, it is neces- 



CONCERNING THE QUEUE 51 

sary for every man and woman to have a son, either their 
own or adopted. Of their extreme superstitions I have 
as yet had little opportunity to learn. The strange 
wonders that I meet in this strange land are bewildering 
and far beyond my comprehension. 

You will be interested in hearing about the queue. 
The hair of the Oriental is always straight and jet black. 
The beard is not allowed to grow until honors and age 
permit. The queue is a symbol of Chinese manhood. 
In infancy and childhood the head is either clean-shaven, 
or patches of hair are left as fancy may dictate; this hair 
is braided into little queues. When the boy reaches the 
age of thirteen or fourteen, the queue, the proper badge 
of manhood, is permitted to grow. The queue is not orig- 
inally Chinese; it was introduced about two hundred 
and fifty years ago by the Manchus. The first Manchu 
Emperor of China commanded all of his subjects to 
shave their heads and adopt the queue. This created 
intense excitement, as the Chinese thought it signified 
slavery or degradation. The Emperor wisely left this 
decree untouched and shrewdly issued another. The 
second decree commanded that all persons convicted of 
crime should cut off the queue and let the hair grow. The 
officers were to see that this edict was obeyed. The 
Emperor also issued a decree that the badge of mourning 
for the death of a parent should be unshaven head and 
uncombed queue for one hundred days. The queue has 
become almost a superstitious reverence among the 
Chinese. It is their great pride. Some heads of hair 
are beautiful, heavy and long; others are made up of 
switches of false hair, or silk. There is an etiquette of 
the queue. It must be braided in special style, and tied 



52 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

with a black cord and tassels; the black cord is removed 
and a white cord takes its place in mourning. They coil 
the queue about the head to protect it, or for comfort; 
but on meeting a friend, they uncoil it and leave it hang- 
ing down their back before recognizing him. Under 
no circumstances is it proper for a servant to appear in the 
presence of his master or mistress with his queue coiled. 
Not long ago our first boy, Lu, whom we brought with us 
from Shanghai, came to me smiling, but with tears in his 
eyes, and said, "I got letter from home, wife die." He 
picked up his queue and said, " See, I wear white cord." 
He had a white cord braided in his queue, and wore it 
until after their New Year, then it disappeared. 

I must tell you more about this boy. Perhaps three 
months afterward he came to me and said, "My boy 
here; Madame want see him?" Of course I did. He 
brought a young man almost as tall as himself. 

I said, " Lu, this is not your own boy." 

He said, "Yes, Madame, my own boy." 

I asked if he should like to have their pictures taken 
together. 

He was much pleased and said, "I fix him." They 
left, and in a short time Lu returned and said, "Madame, 
see my second wife?" 

In surprise, I said, "You married? When, and 
where ? " I knew he had not lost one day; he was always 
at his post. 

He replied, "Chinese different from foreigners. 
Mudder choose wife; boy bring wife me. She second 
wife now." He brought her to the hall, not into my 
sitting-room, as he did his boy, and said, "Madame, see 
second wife? She out here." 




****•'"' -*£ 




fcf jr# ** ** -T< J} 



■ 



~^^^8 



Lu and His Family 



PEKING OBSERVATORY 53 

I said, "Bring her in." 

He replied respectfully, " Madame better see her 
out here." I did. She gracefully courtesied and bowed 
in the Chinese manner. When we went outdoors to 
have the pictures taken, she leaned upon the son's arm 
because her little feet would not let her walk alone. 

When we were outdoors I looked at Lu and said, 
"Lu, that cannot be your own son." 

He said, "Yes, Madame, my own proper son. His 
mother die. I marry young. Got this boy when twenty- 
one. He is eighteen now; I thirty-nine. He my proper 
son." 

We believed it later, for his son afterward became 
our third boy and he was his father over and over in 
looks and actions. He was very clever, and his father ex- 
tremely so. 

First boy, Lu, said, "A little while I send second wife 
back mudder; she old." Later our amah said, "Lu's 
wife * Sing-song' girl. No little feet; put on little feet. 
Lu pay much money. Lu buy her." We kept Lu 
little more than a year. 

We have another first boy, Wang, and we like him 
very much. He is quiet and manly and keeps all quiet 
about him. 

[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 

March 12, 1899. 

IN answer to your letter I am going to talk to you 

about one of the rich treasures which I have found; the 

Peking Observatory! This Observatory is situated on 

the top of a spacious masonry, towering many feet above 



54 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

the wall of the Tartar City, and is built against this wall to 
the east. An open brick stairway is the mode of ascent. 
The Observatory is most surprisingly wonderful. Many 
of the astronomical instruments are over three hundred 
years old, and they are in a state of almost perfect pres- 
ervation. They are always exposed to the changes of 
the seasons, always in the open, yet they are without 
corrosion. These massive instruments are so nicely 
poised upon their axes, or pivots, that I can move them 
with comparative ease. Their mountings are wonder- 
ful in design, execution, and material, and are strictly 
Chinese; many of them in the form of dragons. The 
bronze material in these instruments is heavily mixed 
with gold and is so unyielding that none of the fine, com- 
plicated, mathematical dial plates are effaced, or even 
dimmed. Each line seems to stand out as boldly and 
accurately as if in the first year of its long existence. The 
art and knowledge of this perfect work has been lost. 
There is no telescope among these instruments. 

A temple is at the foot of this tower and here there are 
two of the oldest and finest of all the instruments. They 
are said to date back more than five hundred years. In 
the temple is a " water clock," which is simply a series of 
receptacles through which the water oozes with accu- 
rate pressure and time. There are sun-dials everywhere, 
and this historic spot would not be complete without them. 
I often visit this Observatory, and my interest grows more 
intense at each visit. My thought reaches out to know 
more, and to understand what these voiceless messengers 
would say to me. I catch a little whispering each time, 
and go away rejoicing. 

Every age seems to have reverently recognized the 




Water Clock 
Astronomical Observatory, Peking 



EXAMINATION HALLS 55 

heavens as a watchful, unchangeable, never-failing friend, 
always true to man physically and spiritually. It was 
early learned that through these myriads of bright lights, 
simple and complex problems could be accurately solved. 
Through this avenue the earth opens up its hidden secrets; 
the ocean shows its might; in fact all nature sings in one 
grand chorus that echoes and re-echoes with an increasing 
harmony through every part of God's great universe. 
The Life, Truth, Love that never fails is so indelibly 
stamped in the brilliant heavens that all mankind has 
recognized it, looked up to it, and humbly clasped its 
proffered, helping hand. Through the star-lit heavens 
the year has been determined, the seasons named, and 
months numbered. All that this vast universe has said, 
is saying, and will continue to say to mankind, will never 
be known. The vibrations of the sunbeams tone and in- 
tensify the rich and varied colorings of nature in all their 
grandeur. 

Every time we visit the Observatory, with its college 
of hidden learning, we leave it with reluctance. 

The Examination Halls are near the Observatory. 
Many thousands of Chinese men of learning assemble here 
once in two or three years to test their knowledge. The 
second and third degrees of scholarly education are here 
granted. These halls are long, shed-like buildings about 
four feet wide and two or three hundred feet long, all fa- 
cing the south. They have an open front and a passage- 
way of four feet between them. The roof extends so as 
to keep out the intense heat of the sun. These halls are 
divided into compartments about three and one-half feet 
square and are furnished with a board seat and a board 
in front of the occupant upon which to write. The 



56 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

scholar who is being examined must remain here for three 
days without going out. His necessities are brought to 
him. After three days he can go out for one day and then 
return for another three days. The ninth day finishes 
the examination. They eat, sleep, and write in these cells. 
Some come time after time for the degrees here offered. 
Some ambitious aged men die in these narrow, barren 
compartments, working for their honors. For the last 
two degrees they come to Peking from all parts of the 
Empire; the first degree is taken in other Provinces. 
There are rooms, or cells, to accommodate sixteen thou- 
sand applicants, but at this time only about eight thousand 
occupy them. Those who pass this examination receive 
the highest and last degrees given these toiling, ambitious 
scholars. I intentionally use the word " scholar," instead 
of "student," because these men merit the distinction of 
the term. 

The subject they are to be examined upon is given 
them after they enter their cell and they have no books. 
The examination consists of a reproduction of the classics 
from memory, and the writing of essays. These examina- 
tions are rigid and are the stepping-stones to the high 
official places in the Government. Great memory is a 
strong and most helpful characteristic of the Chinese; 
they have been schooled to it during the long existence of 
their nation. Earl, or Viceroy, Li Hung Chang told us 
with pride that he took his examinations in these halls fifty 
years ago. His son said, "I also took the examination, 
but did not win the degree. In China it is no disgrace 
to have failed; it is an honor to have tried." Viceroy 
Li Hung Chang speaks no English; his son speaks it 
fluently. As I look at these Examination Halls, sym- 



THE YELLOW TEMPLE 57 

pathetic feelings mingled with sad admiration go out to 
these scholars who come to them. This is only another 
way of working, sacrificing, and suffering for glory. 

For several days we have been having delightful guests, 
and we planned a trip to the Yellow Temple and the Bell 
Temple about six miles distant. Twelve of us went on 
ponies and in chairs ; the riders had their frolics in speed- 
ing their horses, then in the shade of some tree they waited 
for the coming of the chairs, the bearers of which were 
speeding on in the spirit of the occasion. There were 
five distinct nationalities represented in our party, but 
Joy's spirit is so universal that we were one nationality 
that day. 

We first visited the Yellow Temple. This temple is 
very old, and its pages of history have been lined and inter- 
lined. Some of our party would tarry and listen for 
answers to their questions, others would look, pass on and 
out and feel no inspiration in this dense atmosphere. 
In some shady spot they would await the coming of the 
loiterers. One of the finest and most beautiful treasures 
of this temple is the large marble tower built in memory 
of Buddha. It is deeply carved in bas-relief and the 
carvings portray Buddha's existence from his first con- 
ception in mortal life on through the many phases of 
mortal living, and still on into the imaginary beyond. 
This tower is a stationary panorama, and time is the 
propelling power urging the intent observer to move on. 

At twelve o'clock we reached the Bell Temple. Each 
rider had his accompanying mafoo, who took his horse 
in charge. The mafoos walked the horses quietly for 
about thirty minutes, then removed saddles and bridles, 
watered the horses, stabled them, and fed them. The 



58 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

chair coolies dropped down in the shade for a time, then 
washed, and ate their tiffin. The guests passed on into 
the temple proper. Our servants had preceded us with 
tiffin necessities. We were escorted into rooms, where our 
very own home wash-bowls, pitchers, and towels awaited 
us. Tiffin was announced, and there in a large room was 
a table with twelve plates and a real home hot-tiffin, with 
its courses. Upon the table were pickles, sweets, and 
lovely flowers. My servants had done it themselves! 
They knew what was to be done, and I let them do it in 
their own way. The guests exclaimed, " Marvellous! 
Marvellous!" It was wonderful, for everything had to be 
brought from home by the coolies, even ice and distilled 
water. 

After our refreshments we were shown from building 
to building with our longing thoughts centred on the 
Great Bell. Where was it? None too soon were we in 
the august presence of that historic, talking thing. With 
intense wonder the world talks back to it. This bell was 
cast about five centuries ago, and weighs fifty-three and 
a half tons. It is second in magnitude, but is the largest 
hanging bell in the world. It is completely covered, in- 
side and out, with Chinese characters, extracts from the 
Buddhist canon. We passed under this wonderful bell 
dome; we looked at it; we felt of it. It was really there, 
hanging from that immense frame of mighty timbers. 
The keeper swung the end of a large hanging timber 
against this monster bell, and in tones the sweetest, most 
melodious and resounding, it sang us a song of days gone 
by. It struck eternity's chord, and we all loved it. The 
five nationalities rejoiced in one accord. We climbed 
to the story above, where the crown of this bell was on a 



THE CHINESE CLASSICS 59 

level with us. Wang handed me a string of cash which he 
had brought from home, and said, "See luck days. Tell 
fortune. Make wish, throw cash at hole top bell; hole 
receive cash, good luck." The many cash were eagerly 
taken; the heart- wishes were made, then with eye intent 
on the hole and a steady hand, again and again the un- 
faltering, but usually unsuccessful, effort was centred on 
that one point. Enthusiasm ran high until every cash 
was gone. Beneath this hole was a temple boy picking 
up the coins as they fell. 

People come and go, and this aged bell tells a little of 
time's centuries to each, and in wonderful tones sounds a 
sweet welcome and a cheering good-bye. These tones 
vary in proportion to the quality of the sounding-board 
receiving them. 

[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
April 26, i8gg. 
CAREFUL following of the intricate thought-methods 
of the Chinese is the only way to reach accurate conclu- 
sions about China and her people, but this careful follow- 
ing almost baffles the most diligent student. The other 
day I was talking with an English gentleman who has 
spent much time in China, and who has made a study of 
the language and the people. He said, "On my return 
from America, after completing my course of study there, 
a Chinese scholar said to me, l I have watched your pro- 
gress in studies since you were a boy, and I would say to 
you, if you would take up and pursue for a time the 
Chinese classics, it would be of great value to you ; I will 
direct and help you.'" The gentleman acted upon this 



6o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

suggestion. He told me enthusiastically that he found 
mines of thought in these classics — thought that is world- 
wide in its scope and bearing. 

I become very earnest in my desire to get behind the 
scenes; to see the source, the cause, of all of these mys- 
terious portrayals of honor and worth. The nice dis- 
tinctions in ideas and bold adherence to them, from the 
most scholarly sages down to the coolie classes, are per- 
plexing and yet extremely interesting to those who try to 
understand them. The thought of economy — to protect 
and save — reaches into and through every part of this 
entire Empire. To these people nothing is, or should be, 
lost. Their steadfast unity of thought is the cement that 
has kept this vast domain together, even when other 
nations have declared that its end was near. 

Between 1122 B. C. and 249 B. C. was China's great 
period in literature. In 550 B. C, Confucius was born. 
His moral and philosophical teachings have been far- 
reaching, and have influenced and moulded the lives of 
more people than those of any other writer in known 
history. As learning transcends all else in importance in 
China, Confucius has become a saint to her people. He 
is considered the embodiment of wisdom, a true leader 
and philosopher. He was not the founder of a religion, 
but is revered as "a sage. In Chinese literature there are 
the Nine Classics. I am told that on these nine books are 
founded Chinese religion, ethics, philosophy, education, 
and etiquette. The spirit of the classics is essentially 
lofty, moral, and good. 

The large temple in Peking built to Confucius is 
massive and impressive in its solemn grandeur. Many 
buildings are in this temple, and these buildings are of 



POWER OF CONFUCIUS 61 

marked individuality. In the finest temple building is 
a large tablet to Confucius, before which the Emperor 
worships. There are also tablets to Confucius ' closest 
followers. Each of the many tablets placed in the build- 
ings, walls, and outer courts of this large temple enclos- 
ure is in memory of some great Chinese sage or scholar. 
There are catafalques with large tablets resting upright 
upon the backs of turtles; these catafalques always face 
the south. In gratitude for what Confucius has done 
for China, temples have been erected to his memory in 
prominent places throughout the Empire, but not 
until the first century of the Christian era was a temple 
erected to his memory by Imperial edict. His word is 
quoted as law throughout the Chinese Empire, and he 
is considered the great peace-maker of China. His 
wonderful writings settle difficulties and dissensions 
among the highest and the lowest. He emphasized an- 
cestral worship and the showing of great respect to 
parents, to the aged, and to those in high authority, or 
those occupying a superior rank. According to this 
teaching each person has his own place, and knows it, 
and acknowledges his responsibilities in that place. 
Each child is taught his relation to his parents, brothers, 
sisters, and other relatives; to people generally, to offi- 
cers, and those in high rank, up to their " Heaven- 
bestowed Imperial Rulers." 

Following the Chow Dynasty, which lasted to 249 
B. C, and which was considered the great period in 
Chinese literature, comes the Ch'in. The Emperor 
Ch'in was noted for his good and bad works. Both are 
extremes. He united under one rule many parts into 
China; he began the great Chinese canal system; he 



62 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

built the Great Wall of China; for personal glory he or- 
dered all writings of every kind, including the works of 
all philosophers and even those of Confucius, to be burned. 
With energy he endeavored to enforce this edict literally, 
but he was thwarted in his designs, and much of the lit- 
erature was protected for future generations. Mankind 
is ignorant and always will be ignorant of its great and 
perhaps incalculable loss sustained in that dark, selfish 
reign. History with its joys and its woes, its ups and its 
downs, its comedies and its tragedies, its ideas, true and 
false, unselfish and selfish, paints a varied picture of 
lights and shadows. 

The Ming Dynasty was the last that was strictly 
Chinese. The Mings reigned from 1368 to 1644, when 
they were overthrown by the Manchus. The capital 
of China was moved from Nanking to Peking in 1403 
by the Emperor Yung-lo. This Emperor constructed 
the famous Ming Tombs, forty miles northwest of Peking. 

The Emperor, being the "Son from Heaven/' rules 
supreme, and appoints his many helpers, among whom 
are the viceroys for the Provinces and other high officials. 
There are many boards through which the Emperor 
governs his people. The Tsung Li Yamen is the avenue 
through which the foreigner may have intercourse with 
His Imperial Majesty. The whole system seems to be 
wheels within wheels, and it really appears as though 
every official were afraid of every other official, and yet 
the wheels keep moving. 

In the first century A. D., Buddhism was introduced 
into China. The Emperor Ming-ti sent an embassy to 
bring tidings of the "foreign god" (was it the Christ?), 
of whose fame he had learned. This embassy reached 



VICEROY LI HUNG CHANG 63 

India and learned of Buddha. Feeling that they had 
found in him the god that they sought, they returned 
to their Emperor with the doctrines and images of 
Buddhism. The Christ was not found, and apparently 
no conception of Him. Buddhism became the established 
religion of China, and shrines with their images in gold 
or silver, bronze, brass, clay, or wood, are found every- 
where throughout the entire Empire. Without per- 
manency, Christianity found its way into China between 
500 A. D. and 805 A. D. In 1582 the Jesuits obtained 
a permanent foothold. About 1557 the Portuguese 
established at Macao the first foreign settlement on 
Chinese soil, and Macao still bears the appearance of a 
Portuguese city. 

Progress in acknowledging Christianity has seemed 
slow to observers, but the faithful workers give thanks 
that Jesus' teachings have had a hearing, and that even 
a measure of the Christ-spirit has been revealed to this 
self-satisfied people. 

I am going to tell you of one little "big" thing that 
has come into my life. It was wonderful, because never 
done before — a great departure for the Chinese. Li 
Hung Chang called upon Mr. Conger; after making his 
official call he asked to meet the ladies. On his first call 
after his visit of several months to the devastating floods 
of the Yellow River districts he seemed unusually happy, 
and I ventured to say, "Your Excellency, Li Hung 
Chang, if in accordance with your thought, and that of 
your family, I should be much pleased to pay my respects 
to Lady Li." His reply was, "I will see." His Excel- 
lency shook hands with each of us as he departed. 
We were delighted to converse with this great scholar, 



64 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

high official, and strong man of China. The next day 
word came that his wife and family would be pleased to 
receive the ladies of the American Legation, on such a 
day and at such an hour. 



[To a Niece] 

American Legation, Peking, 
May 14, 1899. 

ON our way to Shan-hai Kwan, the point at which the 
Great Wall of China begins, a Scotch railroad superin- 
tendent said, " Chinese do well when there are no emer- 
gencies — when they can continue to do the same thing 
in the same way; but if for any reason they have to change 
their actions at once, their judgment, which they have 
not cultivated, does not serve them quickly. This is 
in cases where everything is new to them. When they 
comprehend what is wanted they are clever in bringing 
about the result. It seems necessary to leave them alone 
and to give them time. How they gain these results 
you can only vaguely guess." This superintendent said 
that his railroad company at first had all the responsible 
places filled by foreigners, and that they took Chinese as 
students. These students are now able to occupy many 
responsible positions. Many of the engine-drivers, con- 
ductors, and those under him are Chinese. 

Chinese coolies do the work of beasts and work with 
beasts in the streets and in the fields. We often see 
coolies with wheelbarrows heavily loaded. One man 
holds the handles; a strap passes over his shoulders and 
is so fastened as to help steady the wheelbarrow. Other 
coolies, one on either side, help to pull and balance. Far 




Camels and the Peking Wall 

A Coolie at His Work 

A Sample of Coolie Labor in Shanghai 



MEN YOKED WITH BEASTS 65 

ahead, a small donkey with ropes reaching back to the 
barrow, is doing his best. The coolies use no lines, but 
talk to this little fellow and guide him in this way. 

We saw on the canal many boats with men hauling 
them. They were walking or running in a tow-path, 
with ropes. We saw also in the fields a man holding a 
plough, while a mule and an ox, with a man between 
them, hauled it. Each wore about his neck and shoul- 
ders a sort of yoke and harness. The use of a man be- 
tween the animals is not uncommon. The Chinese often 
have ponies, mules, donkeys, oxen, and men all doing 
the same work together. But, remember, this is not all 
of China or her people. Still, the trait of industry is a 
national characteristic, and is bound to work for good. 

The undeveloped power slumbering in the Chinese 
nature cannot now be truly estimated. The great Si- 
berian desert has been found to have plenty of good water 
treasured a little below her unattractive and seemingly 
useless barren surface. Thus may this great mass of 
people be found to have beneath their seemingly barren 
existence the rich springs of true life ready to pour forth 
their living treasures. 

China has received ruthless piercings from the con- 
stant " pecking " of the foreigner with his so-called pro- 
gressive ideas. In the past year there have been telling 
strokes made by the foreigner, and at first glance it would 
appear that China is doomed. But, on closer examina- 
tion, it almost seems that with this old, great nation, and 
her wonderful traits of character, this barbarous treatment 
by the foreigner may break the hardened crust of super- 
stition and customs, and reveal a strength of character 
that will act well its part, and China may yet be found 



66 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

harmoniously working with the sisterhood of nations. 
This strength of character surely is in her, and time must 
and will test its quality. True, the Chinese do not think 
or act as does the foreigner; but the foreigner has not 
made a perfect success of life through his trials, struggles, 
and " superior" thinking. May it not be found that the 
weaving together of the qualities of all nations will soften 
and complement the whole? I do not mean that this 
weaving should be by intermarriage; of that I am no 
advocate. 

The attitude that China has always held of superior- 
ity over all the world has made her so self-satisfied that 
she has ignored what the outside world was thinking or 
doing. It may be that it will take severity to waken her 
to the reality that there is something beyond herself. 
China is not dead, nor will she die. I prophesy that she 
will in time unlock her barred gates and mingle and inter- 
mingle with other peoples, and, with a desire to do so, 
cooperate in the great struggle for a better and higher 
civilization. China is at present passing through an 
awful ordeal. She has battles within and battles with- 
out. The Chinese blot out with bloodshed all thoughts 
new to them, leave their thinkers headless — and press 
on with their bloody banner and crude weapons to defy 
the world. This unrest causes the diplomatic duties to 
multiply and become more and more intricate. The 
foreign Ministers work harmoniously together in their 
efforts to solve the knotty problems. 

We continue our outings upon our ponies, our walks 
upon the city wall, and our social duties are not neg- 
lected. Social duty in the Diplomatic Service requires 
its book-keeping, which must be as accurately performed 



ETIQUETTE OF THE FLAG 67 

as that of a cash book in the bank. The book must be 
balanced each day, and not neglected. The diplomat 
is dealing with nations, not with individuals. Diplo- 
matically you have no favorites, but in your inmost 
heart you can have, and do have, intimate friends; and 
in many ways this intimacy is manifested. 

Each nation's flag takes an active part in Peking. 
On Sunday the Legations in unison hoist their flags early 
in the morning, and throughout the day these flags pro- 
claim the acknowledged day of worship in all Christian 
lands. The language of the flag is carefully watched. 
If a holiday or a day of rejoicing comes to one of the 
eleven nations here represented, that nation proclaims it 
through the waving of its flag at its height, and at once the 
flag of each sister nation waves back hearty congratula- 
tions. If in case of sorrow the flag goes not to its height, 
but bows its head midway, each sister flag bows in sym- 
pathy. Some time during the day each Minister and his 
staff bear their personal congratulations or condolences. 
Is it not well for nations, as for individuals, to have a 
little rhythm of sentiment in their intercourse with one 
another ? 

Thursdays are my days "at home," and on these 
days our rooms are well filled with a medley of foreign- 
ers. We sip our tea, partake of our simple refreshments, 
and have a happy visit. Each nation reveals its indi- 
viduality in the Diplomatic Corps, as well as elsewhere, 
and it is like a feast of many courses when the members 
of this Corps come together. I am quite sure that this 
mingling gives strength and breadth in its influence. 
Seeing and acknowledging the worth in others always 
strengthens. 



68 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Sister] 

Peking, June 3, i8gg. 

I AM going to tell you of a few things that I have 
seen in Peking since I last wrote. It seems strange to 
find all that the Chinese do is part of a system. How I 
should like to know something of this system! Every- 
thing I learn urges me on to learn more. 

I am not afraid of the Chinese. There is nothing about 
them to create fear in me, but they can annoy me if I 
oppose their thought and their customs of propriety. It 
is not well for women to go out alone in Peking. If no 
foreign gentleman is with them, they should have a 
Chinese "boy" or mafoo. The city wall is a quiet, 
clean walking place; Chinese are seldom allowed upon 
the wall, and you feel safe and free. To-day daughter 
Laura started out alone with our guests. They walked 
to the tower over the Ch'ienmen, meeting no one but a 
wall-keeper and they threw him cash. They sat down 
to rest and watch the people below. A beggar came and 
asked for cash; they had none and paid no attention 
to him. Then another and another came, half clad in 
their filthy rags. This was a new phase on the wall. 
Laura, seeing the situation, said, "I don't understand this; 
let us move on, or retrace our steps." They retraced. 
The beggars followed, gathering more in numbers as 
they went. These half-covered wretches would run in 
front of them, form lines, fall upon their knees at their 
feet, kotow (bump their heads on the bricks), and yell 
and cry in the most horrible way. They stood on their 
heads, turned over and over, and kept up a loud noise 
all the while. These people kept increasing in numbers 



CHINESE BEGGARS 69 

and yells, until the foreigners reached the place to leave 
the wall and descended upon the ramp, leaving their 
train of twenty native escorts looking down upon them. 
Where these dirty, ragged people came from is still 
a mystery. There were two well-dressed Chinamen on 
the wall who saw it all. I made inquiries why these men 
did not stop the beggars; the answer was, "They dare 
not." These beggars are organized bands, and woe to 
the Chinamen who interfere with their business. 

During the winter Mr. Conger and his secretary saw 
a beggar with nothing on but an old sack thrown about 
him. He came to them crying and with teeth chattering. 
In sympathy they gave him "silver." They returned 
shortly and saw that same fellow in a corner putting on 
fairly good clothes and plenty of them. 

Some beggars ha,ve nothing on but a large covering 
over their shoulders. They carry a small stove under 
this rag and when cold, squat down and warm themselves. 
Others lie upon the sidewalk and wail and cry in the most 
pitiful way, and you will think they are dying in the great- 
est agonies. We learn this is a business with them. A 
friend said to me, "Do not give more than one cash to a 
beggar; if you give more he will tell others and many 
will follow you and cry for cash in the most distressing 
tones, and will bitterly curse you if you refuse to give 
more." 

The Chinese never interfere with one another. For 
their own safety they dare not. We saw a man hauling 
sacks of grain; one sack was broken and the grain was 
flowing out in the street. Many Chinese saw it, but it was 
not their business and they did not interfere by telling 
him. Again we were passing and saw that a man with 



7o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

his two baskets on the end of a pole had fallen and could 
not get up. The Chinese on the street passed by him 
and so did we; on cur return the man was still lying there 
but was lifeless. His baskets and pole were beside him 
undisturbed. The authorities alone had the right to 
touch that dead man and his belongings. Upon another 
occasion we were going through the crowded streets in the 
Native City. An obstruction was lying in the centre of 
the thoroughfare; this obstruction was a dead man 
covered from public view with reed matting. Each 
person's rights are so positively and so rigidly observed 
that no one interferes; these systems are "as old as the 
hills." The Chinese will do all they can for their sick, 
then give them into the hands of the spirits to cure — or 
to kill. After they have assigned their sick to the care 
of the spirits or gods, they do not molest or interfere. If 
any person should dare to interfere he would so anger 
the spirits that a curse would ever follow the would-be 
helper, and this helper would render himself forever 
responsible for the sick man, dead or alive, because he has 
wronged the sick man, has taken him out of the hands of 
the spirits and caused him to be a wandering devil at the 
heels of the one who interfered. 

The Chinese do not worship the idol, but the thought 
or the spirit that the idol represents. They worship at 
the shrine of "Long Life," "Happiness," "Offspring," 
"Ancestors," "Agriculture," "Heaven," "Earth," 
"Rain," "Sunshine." The bat means "Happiness"; 
the peach, "Long Life"; the pomegranate, "Many 
Children"; the dragon means "Power"; in fact, every- 
thing has its significance. It is interesting to listen to 
one who has lived long in China and who has been a 



CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS 71 

student read the meanings of the designs upon cloth, 
embroideries, cloisonne, and porcelain; there is a mean- 
ing to every stroke. Even in their gods and Buddhas 
they place some material thing to represent a thought. 
To illustrate: in their eyes looking-glasses are placed; 
in the heart, pearls; in the bowels, money. Do you 
see the thought — reflection, value, plenty ? The Chinese 
love children. There is a mother Buddha holding a 
small child in her hand. Women visit this idol and 
pray for children and leave gifts. It is the mother- 
thought going to the mother-spirit for help to bear a 
child. 

In the sight of a Chinese the worst crime that a person 
can commit is to take the life of his father or mother. In 
such a case the guilty child is sliced alive, cut up little by 
little; thus they destroy his spirit as completely as they 
can. The Chinese are terrified over losing any part of 
their bodies, because if any part is lost their spirits be- 
come crippled. If a man is beheaded his friends will 
often beg or buy the privilege of sewing the head to the 
body that his spirit may not go about headless. Have 
I not written enough to show you that persecutions are 
a blow at the spirits? 

The Chinese form themselves into all sorts of clans, 
and work systematically in them. Each season has its 
shop goods. In the season for the lantern festival the 
shops are filled with all sorts and styles of lanterns, from 
the smallest to the largest and most elegant ones. Some 
are richly ornamented with beautiful, colored hangings 
and designs. The Chinese patience and cunning multi- 
ply the shapes and designs to a wonderfully large number. 
After visiting the fairy streets of the festival, all aglow in 



72 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

their exquisite beauty, I was anxious to obtain many of 
these lanterns and went into the Native City to purchase 
them. Not one was to be found! These full shops that 
I had visited and admired a few days before, were now 
empty. It looked as though lanterns were unknown 
there. They were all put away until another " proper 
time" for their appearing. 

When the edict is issued for changing the clothing 
from winter to summer, the fan shops are full of all sorts 
of fans. They all disappear at the change to winter 
clothing. Everything has its season, or " proper time." 

This old, old country with customs unchanged since 
centuries before the Christian era, is unfolding to me 
many Bible mysteries. I can now understand how the 
money-changers were in the Temple. The Chinese 
temples are in large walled enclosures, the interior of 
which is divided into many courts and buildings. On 
certain dates, the merchants, by paying a percentage to 
the temple, are allowed to bring their goods into these 
courts and sell them. There are all sorts of treasures and 
goods gathered together here, and people throng these 
courts and buy these goods. 

In the summer we take our rides early in the morning. 
We have coffee and start out for a two or three hours' 
ride, returning at eight for breakfast. Mr. Conger is 
always seeking new paths, and on our ponies we can tra- 
verse narrow byways. One morning we went into an un- 
familiar street through which we could scarcely make our 
way. It was brilliant on either side with artificial flowers 
of all descriptions. Wonderful, beautiful, almost perfect 
they were in their imitation of the living flower. We 
wended our way slowly, for we were delighted and wanted 



THE FAMILY OF A NOBLE 73 

to tarry. After riding less than an hour we returned to 
see more of the flower street. It was empty! The 
flowers were gone, the people were gone! What did it 
mean? We asked our mafoo; he said, "Oh, no proper 
time now." 

Mr. Pethick, Li Hung Chang's American secretary 
for over twenty-five years, brought word that arrange- 
ments were made for us to pay a visit to Lady Li, the 
wife of Viceroy Li Hung Chang. Five ladies started out 
in five sedan chairs with twenty-four chair- bearers, four 
outriders, and our head boy. After travelling about forty- 
five minutes we reached the home of His Excellency, Li 
Hung Chang. Mr. Pethick met us at the gate and intro- 
duced us to Mr. Li, Li Hung Chang's youngest son, who 
escorted us through courts to the reception room, where 
he introduced us to his mother, sister, wife, and cousin, 
who were standing in a semi-circle near the door. They 
shook hands with us, then Lady Li motioned for me to be 
seated at her left, with a Chinese table between us. The 
room was large and mostly furnished with foreign furni- 
ture. How I did wish that we could enter one of their 
purely Chinese rooms! 

These ladies were dressed in the richest of Chinese 
attire — choice satin embroideries and brocades, and the 
finest of foreign jewels. Their hair was plain, with a 
large coil behind, and flat jewelled ornaments. Their 
faces were delicately painted. Their feet were extremely 
small, and were encased in embroidered shoes. Their 
skirts were quite long, and they wore short over-garments. 

During the conversation Mr. Li asked how I liked the 
Chinese costume. When I told him I liked it very much, 
he said, "Chinese gentlemen can wear pretty colors as 



74 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

well as the ladies." I replied, " Bright colors complement 
gentlemen as well as ladies." I think it would be a great 
pity and mistake to change their wearing apparel until the 
people themselves are changed in many ways. 

Our visit was a strange delight to us. We remained 
about thirty minutes, talking, drinking tea, and partaking 
of refreshments; then paid our compliments to the ladies, 
and Mr. Li escorted us to our chairs. This son speaks 
English fluently, and is fine in looks and manners. The 
ladies were pretty, gentle, and attractive in every act. 
We were among the first foreign ladies that they had ever 
met; they have never met foreign gentlemen. 

A week later Li Hung Chang's son, daughter, son's 
wife, and cousin returned our call, and the wife of the 
Viceroy sent her compliments. No foreign gentlemen 
were expected to be present, and they were not. Mr. Li 
told us that these ladies had never before visited a foreign 
home. But they were not surprised at anything. They 
were richly dressed in fine embroidered satins and trim- 
mings, choice ornaments, and jewels of great value, many 
pearls, diamonds, and other precious stones. They 
remained nearly an hour and we were greatly pleased 
with their visit. In accordance with Chinese custom, 
the sister took the official chair and started out ahead of 
the brother's wife. 

Mr. Pe thick said, "You should consider yourselves 
complimented and much honored, because the Viceroy Li 
Hung Chang is very strict about his daughter. He forbids 
her going out, but has let her come here. This is a com- 
pliment to the American Minister and to his country." 



HOMES IN TEMPLES 75 

[To a Nephew] 

Western Hills, 
July 14., i8gg. 

AGAIN we are in our temple home at the Western 
Hills. Before coming to China I gave myself needless 
trouble by questioning how we could live in a temple. 
They are in reality walled compounds which include many 
buildings besides the shrine buildings. The American 
Minister has for many years rented one of these temples, 
and this we are now occupying. The place is attractive 
with its large trees, shrubs, and flowers. The outlook to- 
ward the city is grand and stretches over a vast plain dotted 
with many cemetery groves and fertile fields. With our 
field-glass we can recognize Mr. Conger at a great distance, 
when he is returning from the city. We then have time to 
descend the hills and walk far out to meet him. Some of 
the temples are very large and cover many acres with 
their different courts and buildings, shrines, and beauti- 
ful gardens with clear lakes and running brooks. The 
lakes almost invariably are well filled with gold fish and 
blooming lotus. Most of these Western Hill temples 
are very old. The buildings where the priests live and 
hold their worship are apart from those rented to foreign- 
ers. These priests do not interfere with us; they are 
kind and often let us see them in their religious services. 

We spent the Fourth of July out here. A celebration 
we had to have, and sent to Peking for fireworks. Mr. 
Bainbridge, American secretary, and his wife, live in a 
temple about half a mile distant. On the Fourth Mr. 
Bainbridge arose very early, climbed far up Mount Bruce, 
and made a great noise with double cannon-crackers 



76 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

which echoed and re-echoed. The top of Mount Bruce 
was enveloped in dense smoke, as though a battle were 
raging. We enthusiastically responded with our double 
cannon-crackers, and boom — boom — boom — boom they 
echoed back! Early we raised our large American flag 
and "the stripes and bright stars" waved the good tidings 
of our Independence Day to the great city below. 

Guests from America were with us, and after breakfast 
we gathered upon our large veranda for our celebration 
exercises, with the dear flag before us. Our numbers 
were few, but our heart-beats were many and strong. We 
sang with intense feeling, 

" My country, 't is of thee, 
Sweet land of liberty, 
Of thee I sing." 

We found, when too late to get it, that the Declaration 
of Independence was at the Legation in Peking; but we 
had the Constitution and we read it and commented upon 
its rich wisdom. We also read "The Star-spangled 
Banner," because our voices refused to show the honor 
due the song. 

Then the Chinese servants came to help us fire 
the long strings with their hundreds of fire-crackers. 
These strings they attached to a high pole, and the many 
crackers were very enthusiastic, each striving to be first 
in giving its loud welcome to the great American day. 
The cannon-cracker boomed its double load with wonder- 
ful vigor. Our servants seemed to enjoy the exciting, 
noisy part of the celebration. As you know, China is 
the home of fire-crackers and fireworks, and the Chinese 
are exceedingly clever in their manufacture. Our veranda 



INDEPENDENCE DAY 77 

faces the east and is high above the path below, as the 
wall of the terrace rises many feet. Little half-clad boys 
gathered to pick up the " crumbs" as they fell. As we 
threw crackers below, these little boys struggled for them 
in great glee. 

We sat under the bright folds of our national colors 
and talked over the many events that have brought their 
untold sorrows, joys, and responsibilities to our country 
as a whole, and to her people individually. Many rapid 
steps have been taken in the past year. May time prove 
that these steps were taken upward and onward and that 
they brought blessings to humanity. May the acknowledg- 
ment and praises extended to us by sister nations en- 
courage and urge us on to still better deeds. 

A Fourth of July celebration abroad does not require 
large numbers to make it a day of thrilling heart-beats 
and enthusiastic rejoicings. We love our beautiful flag, 
and when abroad its songs of protection grow sweeter and 
clearer. I love to write about our country's flag to you, 
for from your young boyhood we used to sing together, 
"The red, white, and blue." There are many countries 
which have adopted in different combinations these 
colors — hence let us heiaafter sing in our hearts — "Our 
stripes and bright stars." My dear boy, you are almost 
a man now! How could you grow so tall in these short 
years ? Mr. Conger and I are proud of the victories you 
have won in fighting your life's battles. They came 
early to you, but they have helped to form a strong 
character. 



78 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Nephew] 

Western Hills, 
August 4, i8gg. 

A PARTY of five of us visited two temples a few miles 
distant; Pi Yun Ssu, of five hundred and eight idols, and 
Wo Fu Ssu, of the Sleeping Buddha. We left our temple 
at one o'clock with mountain chairs, chair coolies, ponies, 
mafoos, servants, and donkeys and their drivers. Our pil- 
grimage was through a fine farming country rich with har- 
vest. Every particle of ground except the narrow footpaths 
was carefully cultivated. The farms looked large, but 
many indistinct lines separate them into smaller tracts. 

Where there are vegetables, fruit, or melons, you will 
see little mat tents where men sleep to protect their crops. 
The homes of these farmers are in walled villages. They 
eat at common mess-houses, and their food costs but 
little. We passed through His Majesty's army reviewing 
grounds, the walls and buildings of which are high and 
massive. The Emperor's outlook is securely protected. 
After leaving this point, our way was over a hill so rocky 
that the riders were obliged to dismount. The rest of 
the way to the temple was rough and stony, but the chair 
coolies never flinched. They took us everywhere without 
hesitation, and stopped only three times during the five- 
mile trip. The mafoo rode ahead on a pony; the chairs 
followed him; those on ponies came next, and then the 
donkeys. The riders were obliged to keep their ponies 
trotting most of the time to keep up with the chairs. I 
never saw such human speed up and down and over rocks 
as these men made. After travelling these ten miles 
they came in laughing and joking. The chair coolies 



HALLS OF IDOLS 79 

take great pride in their work; the leader you can soon 
designate, as he looks and acts superior and is better 
dressed. 

Our first boy and mafoo went ahead and, with money, 
opened the gates and doors, and we entered. We first 
visited the Hall of the Five Hundred and Eight Idols. The 
room is immense ; many avenues reach through and across 
it, with large idols, about five times life size, on either side 
of these passageways. These idols are sitting or stand- 
ing closely together, with an incense cup in front of each. 
The idols are all different in attitude and expression; 
all are gilded and painted. We walked through these 
avenues inspecting and wondering what it all meant — 
so very much to the Chinese and so very little to us. We 
entered the Hall of the Thousand Buddhas; most of these 
are small, and are seated side by side on terraced shelves. 
We next came to the Hall of Heaven and found it filled 
with most striking and extravagant fancies. There were 
heights to climb and thousands of pilgrims were toiling 
up the rugged way to glory. This was all illustrated in 
bas-relief, and painted in attractive colors. Across the 
court was the Hall of Hell where thousands of figures 
were seen tumbling down the heights, headless, pierced, 
blood-stained, torn, disgraced, and punished in the ex- 
treme of cruel fancies. We hastened out of this degraded 
atmosphere of thought. 

Wonderfully strange is the portrayal of the Hall of 
Heaven, with its fanciful climbs to glory and happiness; 
the Hall of Hell, with its dreadful curses, downfall, and 
wretchedness; of the Five Hundred Idols; and the Hall 
of the Thousand Buddhas. Each of these fills its own 
place and helps to make up a strange, weird whole. In 



80 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

the ceilings of these buildings, and in other temple build- 
ings, are painted wheels of fortune. Months and signs 
tell a fortune for every person. These wheels are rep- 
resented as always revolving and they symbolize the 
wheels of life, in which the Chinese believe that all persons 
whirl until they reach the height of their ability; they are 
then cast off until ready to go higher, or lower, as the case 
may be, when they are again taken up. This continues 
until they reach the height of a Buddha, or fall to the 
depth of the evil one. Do we not detect their thought? 
Good claims its own upon the eternal heights, and evil 
its own in the bottomless pit of destruction. 

Up and on we went, passing through massive arches 
and over artistic bridges. Carved balustrades encircled 
large aquariums, with silver and gold fish, eels, frogs, 
turtles, and other animal life moving quietly and happily 
in the clear water, amid the shade of the beautiful lotus, 
or in the bright sunshine. There seemed to be a home 
here in the alive stillness of this charming spot. The 
grounds are attractively ornamented with trees, shrubs, 
vines, living springs, brooks, lakes, grottoes, artistic 
paths, and wonderful masonry. We climbed many stone 
steps and reached the fountain-head of this supply of clear 
water. It was a refreshing place; the trees were trailing 
with vines, and at their feet nestled ferns and flowers. 
We climbed up and up still farther, until we reached 
the top of a large building of stone. Here we found 
massive carved monuments of stone and bronze. The 
view was inspiring! One side marked out our pilgrimage 
to the temple and our course to this great height; on the 
other side was an abrupt, deep abyss, beautiful and green. 
At the bottom of this abyss the sloping hills began to rise, 



THE SLEEPING BUDDHA 81 

and a range of hills, which displayed on their heights 
both Chinese enterprise and nature's prolific gifts made 
a picture of rare beauty. 

The Pi Yun Ssu is one of the largest temples that we 
have visited in China. The vast amount of thought and 
labor it represents in buildings, marble cutting, monu- 
ments, carved granite arches, gateways, terraces, stone 
steps, bridges, shrines, and almost numberless expressions 
of imagination's imagery, is most wonderful. The priests 
were attentive and kind ; they showed us respect and many 
favors, and explained the temple and its belongings. We 
bade adieu to this three-hundred-year-old monument built 
to the gods, and wended our way down and out from 
under its shelter. What could have been the thought of 
the builders? We are dull indeed if we cannot learn 
lessons from all this. 

We were soon on our way to the Sleeping Buddha. 
The entrance to this temple is through a long avenue of 
large trees, with a stone pavement passageway. At the 
end of this avenue, and leading into the temple proper, 
is an imposing gateway of colored tiles, with three en- 
trances. We passed on through many places of inter- 
est, to the building of the Sleeping Buddha. 

We had heard and read of this wonderful Buddha, 
and we had seen many pictures of it — now we saw for 
ourselves. What a monster! What a gross thought 
must have conceived it! There, lying on his side, with 
calm face, closed eyes, and head resting upon his hand, 
is this gilded wooden figure thirty feet long. Every part 
of the body is in proportion. His left arm is resting upon 
his body and his bare feet are placed one upon the other. 
Not far from his feet were many pairs of immense Chinese 



82 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

shoes — offerings of worshippers. This Buddha is sleep- 
ing upon a Chinese k'ang. Standing about him are 
twelve crowned and beautifully dressed images; in front 
of him are the symbols of sacrifices for burning incense. 
We looked and looked. What extravagant conceptions! 

Leaving the temple of the Sleeping Buddha, we passed 
through another temple filled with idols. In some of 
these old temples there is richly inlaid, deeply carved, 
heavy wood furniture; there are bells with richest, sweet- 
est of tones, bells such as are not made in these days. 

Our homeward trip was delightful, and we feel that 
we have learned a little more of the Chinese character. 



[To a Sister] 

On Shipboard, Pacific Ocean, 
October 4, 1899. 

WE are happy members of the ship's family, and 
sailing away toward our dear home land. Mr. Conger is 
not with us, but while the distance is widening between 
us, every day shortens the time of our separation. To- 
day we crossed the one hundred eightieth meridian; this 
gives us two October fourths and two Wednesdays. On 
board ship I have much leisure, so I am going to tell you 
a little about China, and something of what we have been 
doing in the past two months. 

The treaty ports of China are mostly composed of 
two cities in one; the Chinese native walled city, and the 
foreign settlement, or concession. The Chinese hold 
steadfastly to their habits and ideas; while in the foreign 
settlement everything is foreign. These concessions are 
beautiful; they have attractive parks, fine, broad macad- 



FARMING METHODS 83 

amized streets,, and sidewalks lined on either side with 
beautiful shade trees and flowering shrubs and plants. 
In fact the foreigners in these concessions can live 
quite to their liking in beautiful homes. In the interior, 
foreigners are to a great extent obliged to fall in line with 
the Chinese way of living. The mode of travelling in 
cities and in the country in North China is in carts, 
chairs, mule litters, on ponies or donkeys. Outside of 
the foreign concessions, streets and roads are unkept, 
and bear the ruts and wear of ages. The interior cities 
do not have the foreign concessions, hence they are purely 
Chinese. The Government sanctions no foreign enter- 
prise within the borders of these cities; when the for- 
eigner presumes to establish himself in them, he does so 
at his own risk. 

Every part of the country is carefully and diligently 
cultivated. The Chinese fertilize with the frugal gath- 
erings of all manure in cities and elsewhere, and the crops 
are luxuriant. These people are economical in the ex- 
treme. In North China the winters are quite cold, and 
fuel is scarce and expensive. Every part of the entire 
crop, from the root to the grain, is brought into use. 
The stalks of the larger grains are stripped of their leaves 
at a certain stage of development and carefully laid out 
to cure. Then the grain is gathered and the stalk util- 
ized; lastly, the roots, all the weeds, undergrowth, and 
leaves are gathered and tied into bundles for fuel. In 
winter the country is barren; it looks as though nothing 
ever grew there, but when the spring opens, many tillers 
of the soil are out, digging and planting, and the fields 
blossom into beautiful gardens, Thus the ages go on, 
and the soil is not depleted. 



8 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

During the afternoon of August fourth we started 
out for a trip to temples not far away. The old priest 
of our temple was sitting outside and, as I spoke to him, 
he replied pleasantly. When we returned everything 
was quiet outside, and as we entered the gate we saw 
many of the servants standing about. The old priest's 
servants were near him; he was sitting on his feet upon 
a lotus leaf with body upright like a Buddha, and scarcely 
breathing. The coolies were holding his feet crossed, 
and his hands in position, with head and body erect, 
waiting for him to die. He remained sitting in this po- 
sition for five hours. Doctors came, but could do nothing 
for him; they said he must die. They finally took some 
doors to his room, spread a blanket over them, and placed 
him upon the blanket in the same position as before. 
One doctor said he might not die until morning, and that 
he could be stretched out upon his back. At three 
o'clock he breathed his last, sitting upon his feet, and 
dressed in his yellow robes. He was at once placed in 
his camphor-wood coffin. Many priests chanted their 
death-chant, accompanied by the clanging of cymbals 
and the beating of drums. The coffin was immediately 
sealed, decorated, and carried into the temple rooms with 
the gods. Priests, increasing by large numbers, came 
from the other temples. The chanting and wailing 
music grew louder, as the compound filled fuller. 

We called our first boy, Wang, and said to him, 
"What are they going to do? What shall we do?" 
His reply was, "Think better go. Many days like this. 
Much music. Many come." A messenger was sent 
to the city for carts and coolies; that night all were at 
the temple, and by daylight our belongings were packed, 



KOREA AND JAPAN 85 

loaded, and ready to start. We mounted our ponies at 
five o'clock, and waving our good-byes to our much- 
loved temple home in the hills, we were off for the city. 

Mr. Conger and his secretary, Mr. Cheshire, started 
August twenty-first on the American warship Princeton 
to visit all the American Consulates in China. They 
expect to be gone from three to four months. As they 
were going on a warship, the girls and I could not accom- 
pany them. I rejoice that Mr. Conger will be relieved 
for a time from this increasing, complicated, strenuous 
office work. You cannot conceive how the work in this 
Legation has multiplied with new questions since we came 
to China. 

The girls and I started September fourth for our 
home land, and many Peking friends bade us God-speed 
on our long journey. They are dear, dear friends, and 
we know how to love and appreciate them. Friends are 
lamps in the darkness, and joys in the sunshine. We 
touched Chefoo en route to Korea. At Chamulpo we 
went on shore to meet the strange people with their 
strange ways. We also stopped at Mokpo and Fusan; 
at the latter Dlace we had time to see and learn quite a 
little of the Korean shop and street life. These natives 
always dress in white, summer and winter. They seem 
more like the Japanese than the Chinese, still they have 
marked characteristics of their own. We rejoiced over 
this glimpse of Korea. 

We were happily entertained one day in Nagasaki, 
Japan. At Kobe we hastened to get money changed 
into yen, and our baggage stored to be taken up by the 
next steamer, while we were off by rail to see something 
of the interior of the "garden country." Kyoto was our 



86 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

first stop. We had permits to visit the Mikado Palace, 
and its beautiful gardens, also Nigo Castle. Both are 
historic places and reveal much of the Japanese thought. 
We visited temples and shops, and bought some of 
Japan's fine productions. We viewed, as a passing pano- 
rama, this beautiful country. We had not time in two 
weeks to study or even to look into causes, but we ac- 
cepted as much as we could of results as we saw them. 
The fruit industry is limited, but rice and other grains, 
tobacco, and vegetables are raised in abundance. As 
we passed through the railroad cities and towns, we ob- 
served many large and small factories and industries. 
Negoya is a large and well-kept city. We found no one 
who spoke English, but our boy Wang, who accom- 
panied us, managed so well that we got along without 
trouble. China and Japan have the same characters 
for their spoken and written language; these characters 
have different names, but their meaning is the same. 
Wang and the Japanese conversed in signs or writing. 
A Japanese professor in the Chinese Imperial Univer- 
sity at Peking told me that the Japanese language, art, 
and customs originally came from China, through Korea. 
China, Korea, and Japan have the same written language, 
but cannot converse with one another in this language. 



[To a Friend] 

Nagato S. S., 

April j, iqoo. 

WE are within three hundred miles of our Legation 

home and have had a comfortable and safe journey from 

our home land. But now, just off from Chefoo, we have 



FOG-BOUND AT SEA 87 

been fog-bound for about thirty-six hours. I am sorry 
for Mr. Conger for he expects us at Tientsin to-day. He 
has no way of learning where we are nor what the matter 
is. He knows only that we are somewhere in the China 
Sea. As there is a wind this morning, we hope to move 
to-day. 

There are many passengers on board and all are 
making the best of the situation. I was never fog-bound 
before. We cannot see anything — not even the water, 
nor much of the ship. Everything is wet, wet, wet! 
It seems as though we were deep in the sea. The Cap- 
tain says that sometimes fogs detain ships in these waters 
for five days. I have to watch myself, not to become 
impatient to go on. The Captain is running this ship 
according to sea rules, and I must "hands off." We are 
a gay company. The ship is clean; the cabins are 
roomy; there is good service and good food, and we are 
comfortable. You see we do not complain, but we do 
want to go on. 

April 2. We are safely out of the fog, but are two 
days late. A ship was wrecked on the rocks and we 
picked up the passengers, who had been for several hours 
floating upon the open sea in life-boats. We waved and 
waved good cheer to them on our approach, and what a 
welcome we gave them as they stepped upon the deck! 
When they found that they were safe among friends, they 
covered their faces and burst into sobs and tears. Not 
a tear had come before. We heard their story and strove 
to help them. They had suffered from exposure and 
lack of food and water; they had lost their baggage, 
except what they had in their cabins, but no lives were 
lost; all were safe and well. They said that they were 



88 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

very impatient to go on when they found themselves 
fog-bound, and they went on, to their sorrow. What 
strange, wonderful, lamentable, encouraging, joyous 
experiences come into our lives, as we travel on and on 
through the many phases of this world's living! 



[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
June 4, igoo. 

SHOULD you like to hear something about the situa- 
tion in China as I see it? You will hear much from other 
sources. As I have said before, China does not like for- 
eigners, and would like to be left to herself; but for- 
eigners are determined not to let her alone, and they 
make inroads and demands in many ways. The whole 
line of Chinese thinking seems to be locked from the 
foreigner and sealed with many secret fastenings. Chi- 
nese character is strange to the foreigner, but no more 
strange than is the foreigner's character to the Chinese. 

The anti-foreign thought has been openly growing 
for many months, and for the past few months it has pre- 
sented itself in organized and organizing bands called 
Boxers. These are composed of the coolie class. As 
there has been no rain for many months, and as famine 
threatens this great mass of people, they say there is a 
cause for the gods of rain not answering their prayers. 
They believe that the " foreign devils" have bewitched 
their gods, poisoned their wells, brought sickness upon 
their children, and are striving to ruin them completely. 
The Boxers come together and go through all sorts of 
strange rites and incantations to win back the good 



ORGANIZING BOXER BANDS 89 

spirits. They claim that many thousands of spirit sol- 
diers will come down, sweep away the " foreign devils," 
and set the Chinese free. They believe that these spirits 
enter the Boxers and protect them against danger, so 
that no bullets or other weapons can pierce them. The 
Chinese soldiers seem to hold this belief in regard to the 
Boxers, and have said, "No good to shoot; can't kill 
them." 

A spirit of discontent pervades all of North China. 
The army is either afraid of the Boxers, or in sympathy 
with them. The Chinese officials apparently fear their 
power, and act accordingly. The Government seems 
to be tottering at the throne. There is evidently discord 
there. The foreign Ministers went again and again to 
the Tsung Li Yamen, the highest officials, and urged 
them to do something to protect the foreigners. The 
Yamen did so little that the Ministers concluded that they 
must ask their Governments for guards. The Minis- 
ters did not wish to do this, but they were forced to do it. 

Again I am going to take items from my diary. These 
jottings suggest our life — you can fill in the story. 

April 3. In our Legation home! Happy, happy 
day! Mr. Conger met us at Ta Ku, in a steam launch; 
with our glass we saw the flag telling us of his coming 
long before we could see him, but we waved and waved 
our welcome. Our baggage was loaded on the launch 
and we were soon over the troublesome bar. Mr. Con- 
ger had a special car waiting, and Wang had a good 
breakfast for us. The Legation staff, chairs, carts, and 
ponies were at the station. When we reached our Le- 
gation, fireworks, given by our servants, with much ado 
greeted us. The servants were all dressed in their best 



9o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

and were standing inside of the gate to give us welcome. 
Our Legation home is in perfect order. How delightful 
everything looks! I go from room to room rejoicing, 
and our beautiful Chinese things speak to me. We give 
thanks with full hearts that our family is together again, 
safe and well. 

May i. Mr. Conger has had much anxiety and work 
in behalf of missionaries who have been molested for 
more than a year by Chinese in the interior. At first 
these troublesome Chinese were not called Boxers; they 
were looked upon simply as anti-foreign people who 
wished to get rid of the troublesome element in their 
midst. This week the Boxer work grows darker and 
darker. It comes nearer and nearer and is now within 
Peking. 

May 25. There is much uneasiness among the for- 
eigners; threatening words have come to us. 

May 26. The foreign Ministers of the different Le- 
gations meet and consult over these unheard-of condi- 
tions. They request, urge, coax, and threaten the Yamen 
to protect the foreigners. These people are always slow 
to act; they now seem unusually slow. 

May 28. No train from Tientsin. Two railroad 
bridges are destroyed on a branch road. The village 
of Fengtai is burned. Station, cars, shops, Empress 
Dowager's private car, all burned! There is much ex- 
citement among all foreigners. The Ministers are work- 
ing individually for their countrymen and unitedly for 
all. Most of them have cabled for Legation guards. 
The foreigners are all closely united and stand by one 
another. Telegrams, letters, messages, and people are 
constantly coming to Mr. Conger. All foreigners are 



NEGOTIATING WITH THE YAMEN 91 

anxious. The Boxers are cruel, frenzied! Many peo- 
ple have been in this morning, and many urgent notes 
have been received. It keeps Mr. Conger busy. He 
is a calm, faithful worker at his post. The girls and I 
are grateful that we are here with him. 

May 29. Anxiety is running still higher. Things 
look threatening. Letters, notes, telegrams, and people 
are coming to Mr. Conger in increasing numbers. The 
Ministers come together in consultation, and strive to 
decide upon united plans of action. They visit the Tsung 
Li Yamen and write letters earnestly and beseechingly 
asking aid of the Government in suppressing these out- 
rages. What will the outcome be ? The foreign Ministers 
have been asking permission of the Chinese Government 
to let them bring their own guards to the Legation, as it 
seemed impossible for their Government to protect the 
foreigners. The Yamen positively refused to grant this 
request. 

May 30. To-day the Ministers went to the Yamen 
and after urging the matter without favorable results 
said, " We will give you until six o'clock to-morrow morn- 
ing for a favorable answer, and if it does not come, we 
will bring the guards anyway.' ' These Ministers were 
very sure of their point, for none of them wish to get into 
war with China. Our surroundings do not warrant it; 
we have been in no condition to bring the situation to a 
climax, nor are we now; but there are many warships 
at Ta Ku. The officials of the Yamen protested: "We 
cannot give an answer under three days. It would take 
one day to send the request to the Summer Palace; one 
day for the Court to reply; another to send Their Ma- 
jesties' reply to the foreign Ministers." The Ministers 



92 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

still insisted that they must have the answer at six o'clock 
to-morrow morning. 

The Ministers who visited the Tsung Li Yamen were 
Sir Claude MacDonald, British; Mr. Pechon, French; 
Mr. de Giers, Russian; and Mr. Conger, American. 

May jj. At two o'clock this morning word was sent 
to Sir Claude from the Tsung Li Yamen that the for- 
eign guards could come into the city. By six o'clock the 
papers had gone the rounds of all the Ministers who had 
asked for guards. It had been decided by the Ministers 
that all the guards should come together. Telegrams 
were sent to Tientsin and arrangements made for them to 
come at once. As there had been trouble just inside the 
gate in coming from the station, Mr. Conger telegraphed 
to Admiral Kempff to be prepared to meet possible oppo- 
sition. Telegram came, " Leave on special train, three 
hundred and fifty strong." 

These are stirring times. Mr. Conger's staff met the 
guards at the station five miles away. Fifty-six Ameri- 
can marines, with one rapid-firing gun, started in ahead, 
closely followed by the Russians. Our marines had left 
all baggage on the flagship Newark, so as to be free to 
fight if necessary. They arrived about eight o'clock in 
the evening. Arrangements had been made with the 
Tsung Li Yamen to keep the gates of the city open. 
Our guards occupy a Russian compound adjoining our 
Legation, and a gateway is cut through the wall into the 
Legation. The guards number as follows: British, 
seventy-five; French, seventy-five; Japanese, forty; 
American, fifty-six; Russian, seventy-five; Italian ; forty; 
total, three hundred and sixty-one. The Germans and 
Austrians are to come later. There were no demon- 



NATIVE CHRISTIAN CONVERTS 93 

strations of pleasure or displeasure along the way from 
the station to the Legations. 

It seems to be the universal thought among foreign- 
ers that the " moral effect" upon these enraged Chinese 
people of having these troops here will be good. We are 
delighted to have these fifty-six American marines and 
naval officers with us. Among the officers are Captain 
McCalla, Captain Myers, Captain Hall, and Doctor 
Lippet. 

June 1. Everything seems more quiet in the city, 
but bands of Boxers are reported to be active in the 
interior. Missionaries are still writing their suggestions 
and making earnest requests and appeals. They urge 
Mr. Conger to make the Chinese officials act more quickly 
and protect them and the native converts. In their dis- 
tress they forget that they have been here many years 
and know that the Chinese mode of thought and action is 
not easily nor rapidly changed. And, too, our Govern- 
ment cannot say what the Chinese Government shall or 
shall not do with its own people. The Chinese converts to 
Christianity are Chinese subjects, and the Chinese Govern- 
ment has the right to protect or punish them according 
to its law, and they do not come under the right or power 
of other Governments. 

June 2. Not a night passes but from one to three 
telegrams come to Mr. Conger. Distressing rumors of 
fire and outrages come from small villages. The attacks 
are principally against native Christian converts, as they 
have foreign ideas. We are anxious for the missionaries. 
It seems advisable for them to flee to more promising 
places of safety, but they are not willing to leave their 
missions to be burned and their converts to be murdered. 



94 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The question is, how can they serve the Christ-cause best ? 
They are devoted, conscientious workers. The German 
and Austrian troops have arrived. 

June 3. A quiet day in Peking, but there is a con- 
tinuation of troublesome reports from other quarters. 
Telegrams for help keep coming. Rumors upon rumors 
come in. All foreign nations stand together here. 
Men of all classes are showing their strength of character. 
Mr. Conger is calm, acts cautiously, and seems to act 
wisely. He bears up bravely under the almost number- 
less pressures that are constantly brought upon him. He 
must not make mistakes. The Good Father will help 
and sustain him. 

June 4.. Telegraph wire cut on railroad. Other line 
not disturbed. Many servants are leaving. Ours as 
yet stand faithfully by us. 

June 6. Reports come in from Tungchow and Paoting 
Fu of great danger. Destruction of property has begun 
in earnest. Laura and Mary will go to Japan on the 
first train to Tientsin. The Department of State cabled 
for information about missionaries at Paoting Fu. As 
yet all are safe. 

June 7. The foreign Ministers keep in close touch 
with one another, and carefully consider all new rumors 
and developments. The Postal Telegraph wire is not 
yet cut. Excitement seems to increase outside. All is 
quiet in the city. 

Mr. Conger visits the Tsung Li Yamen once or twice 
each day, as new, urgent matters come up. By getting 
an interview with them daily, he forms opinions of the 
situation at the head of the Chinese Government. It 
seems that the Chinese officials are not united in their 



& 4- -t >! 






MAP OF PEKING 






I. Native Citv. III. Imperial City. 
II. Tartar City. IV. Forbidden City. 




Ch'ienmen. 

Halamen. 

Wall between the tiro Bates fortified by the besieged. 

Ch'f H°am™'. (Rui'ian and^jJpanSe'rcLf^me'red'a'rthis 


7. Shakuomen. (Where the British enured in looo.) 

p. Water' Gate. (Here the relief troops entered the Legation. ) 

i < t'tc-lmman Mis-ion. 


I,. Confucian temple. 
17. Tsung Li Vann n. 
i- i:.,,„„n.,Lion Halls. 

\o. Temple of Heaven, British 
21. Temple of Agriculture Ami 



h. .ui.i'url'T- in i 



HELP FOR MISSIONARIES 95 

opinions. It also seems that the Government is afraid 
of the Boxers. The army, too, seems to be afraid of 
them. What can there be in the future for China, or for 
the foreigners who have the promise of her protection? 
From many quarters missionaries are asking Mr. Conger 
for guards. It does not seem wise to divide fifty-six 
marines into little squads and widely separate them. Mr. 
Conger has cordially invited one and all of the mission- 
aries to come to the Legation and have the same protection 
that we have. Dr. A., a brave missionary, came to-day 
asking for a guard to go across the country to rescue and 
bring to Peking the Tungchow missionaries. Mr. Conger 
thought it would only enrage the Boxers to see the foreign 
soldiers. He feared that the small guard would be in 
danger of being overcome and that the missionaries would 
be captured. This would give courage to the Boxers, 
and would make them more troublesome. It would 
weaken the guard here; and, too, if he did this for Tung- 
chow, other missions could ask the same. It would be 
impossible to give to all. There seem to be many diffi- 
culties that make it impracticable to divide our small 
Legation guard. Mr. Conger thought if they would 
.come quietly to the city there might be less trouble. Dr. 
A., with carts, started after them. Our house is filling 
up. It is not safe to remain outside longer. 

June 8. Railroads still cut off. No trains to or 
from Tientsin. Rumors are no better. All sorts of 
rumors are sent out to intimidate. Some are true, more 
are false. 

Tungchow people arrived safely in the Methodist 
mission. They left their mission and their belongings at 
Tungchow in the care of Chinese. Many are arriving 



96 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

from other places. There is much anxiety about Paoting 
Fu missionaries. All foreigners are leaving their com- 
pounds and missions and going to the Legations and to 
the Methodist mission. The Methodist mission com- 
pound is the largest, nearest, and best fortified of all, 
hence is chosen, if necessary, for a refuge for all the 
missionaries. The Roman Catholics are still at Nantang 
and Peitang. A small French guard is at each place. 
They did not leave Nantang as reported. 

Mr. Conger sent a guard of ten to the Methodist 
mission. Ten more people came to us to-day. We 
welcome them. I have had our storeroom filled with 
extras — much flour, corn meal, beans, rice, and sugar; 
besides chickens and other supplies. We may need all 
with our increasing family. We filled our coal bin and 
bought large kangs holding great quantities of water. 
It now looks as though Peking might see serious trouble. 
Chinese soldiers are stationed on the wall over the gate- 
ways. The Empress Dowager issues edicts but they do 
no good. Days of emergencies are being promised to us; 
the outlook is becoming darker and darker. We have 
tried to fill our lamps that they may be ready in the hour 
of need. 

June g. Another quiet night. All are safe as far 
as heard from. Our Captain Hall, with ten more Ameri- 
can marines, went to join the other guards at the Meth- 
odist mission. The British sent to the Methodist mission 
ten guns and two men, as there were people there from 
the London mission to be protected. They are now 
quite well fortified, as they have over fifty rifles. 

No report from Paoting Fu. People are anxious 
about their friends, and so are we. A meeting of all 



COMMUNICATION CUT OFF 9 7 

foreign Ministers to-day. No trains yet. Mail came 
overland. The Postal Telegraph line is all right. Mr. 
Conger cabled to the State Department asking for more 
guards. Lady MacDonald called to-day. She was calm, 
but was anxious to get her children to Japan. These 
are trying days for the Ministers and they work watch- 
fully, continuously, diligently. Mr. Conger just came in 
and said, "I never saw such order among the Chinese 
soldiers as I saw to-night. They were up in line like 
soldiers, guarding the streets." The Emperor, Empress 
Dowager, and their Court, moved back from the Summer 
Palace to the Forbidden City to-day. To all appearances, 
order and quiet attended their coming. 

June 10. No attack. We are told that the Chinese 
generally, if not always, fight in daylight. Word has 
come that nine hundred soldiers, of different nation- 
alities, Admiral Seymour in command, have left Tientsin 
for Peking, with force enough to repair the railroad. 
There was no permission from here to let them come; 
the Viceroy at Tientsin granted it. It has been rather 
an anxious, exciting day. Rumor says that four changes 
have been made in the Tsung Li Yamen. Prince Ch'ing 
is no longer President. 

We have just heard that our troops are to reach the 
railroad station at ten o'clock to-night. Postal Tele- 
graph wires are cut. There is no communication with 
the outer world, except by Chinese couriers, and these are 
not always to be relied upon. We do not know what 
reports go from here, nor the truth of what the couriers 
bring us. All arrangements at the Legations are made to 
meet the guards at the station at four o'dock to-morrow 
morning and escort them into the city. Each Legation 



9 8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

is sending from twenty to forty carts. The new summer 
British Legation at Western Hills was burned to-day. 

June ii. The escorts started for the station at four 
o'clock to meet the guards. They formed a long cart 
procession and had a large foreign guard to protect 
them. The expected soldiers were not there and there 
was no word from them. All returned. Efforts were 
made all day to locate our coming troops. There may 
be much railroad to repair. Where can the nine hundred 
be ? Mr. Conger at all times shows good cheer and offers 
a helping hand wherever he can. He is besieged on all 
sides; but he acts quickly and fearlessly. He does not 
accept all the dreadful rumors as facts. In his reasoning 
way he at once shows many of them to be false. If men 
in their extreme anxiety think he should do more for them 
and say unkind things, he does not let it hurt him, and 
replies kindly but firmly. His army life enables him to 
be of great assistance to Captain Myers. Mr. Conger 
fears that great suffering is befalling the foreigners in the 
interior. Our greatest hope is that they will flee for the 
coast before it is too late. 

We should like to know where our troops are and 
what the outer world is doing. It seems that day by day 
we are narrowed into closer quarters; little by little 
connection with the world beyond Peking has been cut 
off. Now we stand isolated; both telegraph lines are 
gone; the railroad is gone. No Legation mail pouch; 
there is but little mail, and that is brought by couriers. 

An attache of the Japanese Legation was stoned on 
his way to the station and killed. Flags of all Legations 
are flying at half-mast. Two members of the Tsung Li 
Yamen came and asked Mr. Conger to stop his troops 



TUNGCHOW MISSIONS BURNED 99 

and not let them enter the city. They begged the Min- 
isters to turn their troops back. They said it would be 
much easier for Prince Ch'ing. Mr. Conger said, "No; 
we cannot turn them back. They must come to protect 
our people. You fail to do it. We are your friends, 
and are going to help you to protect your people. We 
ask nothing but protection." One of these officials said, 
"Other nations do not allow troops thus to enter their 
domains." 

The questions were asked, "When your people are 
representing you in foreign countries are they stoned on 
their way to the station, insulted and struck on the streets ? 
Is their property burned ?" The reply was, "No." 

Later, our first mafoo was sent to the station to see 
if any word could be learned about the coming troops. 
Chinese soldiers were guarding the gates, and on his 
return the gate was closed against him. He hastened 
to another gate and reached the Legation unharmed. 
Word comes that Prince Ch'ing has been arrested by his 
Government. Suspicious letters were intercepted. There 
seems to be serious trouble at the Palace. 

Missions at Tungchow are burned, college and all. 
The libraries and accumulations of years are swept away. 
We learn that our mafoo dresses like a poor coolie and 
rides a donkey when he goes out into the streets. 

June 12. An anxious night. Many foreigners are 
fleeing for safety to the Legations, to the Methodist 
mission, the Catholic Peitang and Nantang. Captain 
Myers keeps watch all the night through. Guards watch 
day and night on Legation Street, Wall Street, and from 
the top of the city wall. There was much noise in the 
Native City last night. Cannons were fired at intervals. 



ioo LETTERS FROM CHINA 

It seems unusually quiet to-day, nevertheless we all keep 
within the Legation walls. There are now eighteen in 
our family. Our house is full, still there is always room 
for more, if necessary. A courier came in at noon. He 
had found no trace of our coming troops. Where are 
they? How we look for their coming! The twenty 
carts are still held for them at the gates. 

Four members of the Tsung Li Yamen called on the 
foreign Ministers to-day. The Yamen requested that 
the soldiers be kept in the Legation compounds and not 
in the streets. They tried to persuade the Ministers 
that there is no need for these extra troops. All is quiet 
in the city, but we are anxious to hear from our nine 
hundred soldiers. Many messengers have been sent out 
and have returned without tidings. 

I have bought more supplies; flour, rice, meal, beans, 
and coal. It seems that we may have need of them. 

I am writing a very long letter, and yet so little! 
What I have written will, however, give you some idea of 
our days in this troubled atmosphere. I am going to send 
this letter on its long journey, hoping that it may reach 
you. We think lovingly of the dear home folks. We 
are of good cheer and working our best. 

June 12, continued. Good news from our coming 
troops; they are safe, sixteen hundred strong, and "are 
coming as fast as they can repair the railroad." We do 
not know just when to expect them. We do not anticipate 
any attack upon the Legations, nor upon any of us so 
long as we remain within our walls. 

Later. Another threatened attack by Boxers is just 
over. We are safe! I cannot write details. How dare 
China touch the Legations? 



THE LEGATIONS THREATENED 101 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
From June 13 to July 20, 1900. 

CLOUDS darken. Last night the Boxers kept the 
gates open between the Native City and this city and 
entered in force. Our foreign guards cleared Legation 
Street and Wall Street, and stationed their guns and men 
to guard this locality. The Boxers left for other parts of 
the city, and set fire to missions and foreign property. It 
is reported that they have killed hundreds of native 
Christians. 

Captain Myers is a fine officer, calm and active. The 
guns are in the streets, and men also. All the marines 
and our Legation men watched the night through. The 
majority of the servants are acting bravely. The first 
and second mafoos took their beds and fled last night, but 
came back this morning and attended to the horses. 
Wang, our first boy, is calm in his constant doing. This 
morning so many Chinese were filling the streets and 
pressing forward that we were told to pack a few things 
and be ready to go across the street to the Russian Lega- 
tion, if a fight should come upon us. Our Legation is 
small and not so securely fortified as are the Russian and 
the British. There are twenty-nine women and children 
in our compound. We are packed to go, but are sure, 
very sure, that we shall not have even a slight attack. 
Mr. Conger and Mr. Cheshire went fearlessly to the Chi- 
nese officers at the end of our guard in the crowded street 
and had a talk with them. Mr. Conger told them that if 
they would keep their people away from us none would 
be harmed. But just as soon as they pressed down the 



io2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

streets they would be fired upon and great harm would 
come to them. He said, "All we desire is safety and if 
the Chinese Government cannot protect us, we foreigners 
must protect ourselves." 

They replied, "We will do our best." 

We believe that these officers will do their best. The 
Chinese Government surely does not wish to get into 
trouble with other nations; if the Legations are touched, 
it means war. Now, more than ever before, it looks 
as though the Chinese Government is to meet its doom 
through its own people. A change of dynasty seems to 
be coming fast. 

This morning more large fires are kindled. These 
Boxers burn foreign property, and all property of Chi- 
nese who have anything to do with foreigners. They 
even destroy the Chinese who have any sympathy with 
foreigners. 

We hope to see our troops to-day. The twenty carts 
have fled. We could not hold them longer, and our ma- 
rines must come from the stations unguarded and un- 
aided. Mr. Conger says that we shall have a guard on the 
wall to help open the gates for them. 

June 18. Many strange and trying things are coming 
into our experience. The Boxers have burned all the 
mission buildings, and the destruction of lives and property 
is fearful. They fired the large Catholic mission, Nan- 
tang, with its cathedral built in 1600. This mission 
cared for our smallpox patients a year ago. The Catholics 
have a still larger mission, the Peitang, and a small one in 
the East City. The buildings of this smaller one were 
first burned. The French Minister tried to guard both 
the Nantang and the Peitang, but he found that he was 



CHINESE CHRISTIAN REFUGEES 103 

weakening his force by dividing his troops; so the guards 
were united and sent to the Peitang, thus leaving the 
Nantang unprotected. He could do no more. 

The Nantang was fired, and the devilish work done 
there I have no desire to try to describe. Twenty Russians 
and ten American marines, with Mr. Pethick, an Ameri- 
can, and others, who speak the Chinese language, went 
out as a guard to rescue the people at the Nantang. The 
Boxers fled and the guards worked. Four of our men 
brought over four hundred refugees past this Legation. 
As these people of all ages and conditions in life — many 
hungry, burned, wounded, and slashed — marched by, 
it was a pitiful sight. The strongest among them were 
carrying the aged and helpless. They were taken to a 
large compound within our guarded quarters and are cared 
for by the Legations. Later, the Russians came in with 
large numbers, and still later our six men came with 
wounded and burned refugees. They stopped in front 
of the American Legation, and our doctor and a Russian 
doctor cared for them. They were in a sorrowful plight. 
Such fortitude I never beheld, as these people manifested 
during the dressing of their wounds. No shrinking, 
nor cry of suffering was expressed. Our sincere sympathy 
was with them. Hearts warm into one great love in times 
like these. In the afternoon the English and Germans 
sent out a rescuing guard, and they brought in many. 
These refugees are all Chinese, but they are Christians, 
or those who are in some way connected with foreigners. 

This same day there was much noise in the Native 
City. The German Minister with some of his soldiers 
went upon the wall and saw ten Boxers going through 
their incantations before an excited crowd. These men 



io 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

from the wall fired into them, killing seven Boxers. Later 
some of the men from the Methodist mission went to the 
gate and asked for the gate keys. The gates were locked 
and the key was taken to Captain Hall, of the American 
guards at the mission. 

That night there was a terrific din in the Native City. 
The cry was, "Kill! Kill!" It sounded as though mad- 
ness itself were set loose, and even though the wall was 
between us it seemed as though we could not escape the 
fury of these enraged people. About twelve o'clock all 
was still, and we wondered what would follow. There 
was nothing more that night, but "watch" was the word; 
and all did watch. The next morning large fires were 
kindled in the Native City. Every store that had foreign 
goods was set on fire. The wind was blowing, and the 
fire spread over the very best and most thrifty parts of 
their city. Large shops and many of China's most beau- 
tiful things were burned. There is no way wnatever for 
these people to fight fire. They have to let it burn until 
there is no more fuel to feed the flames. Mr. Conger, 
with guards, took us upon the wall to see the burning 
city. 

Why did the flames devour so many innocent people, 
render so many homeless, moneyless, and cut off the daily 
supplies of thousands of the poor coolie class? The fire 
burned all day and spread toward the west. About 
eleven o'clock in the evening we went again upon the 
wall. The city was still burning to the west. The fire 
was not coming toward us, nor toward any of the Lega- 
tions, as they were north of the eastern part of the 
burning city. The fire had gone north to the Ch'ienmen, 
the gate through which we pass in going to the railroad 



IMPERIAL GATE BURNED 105 

station, and the large tower building over the Imperial 
gateway was burning. It made an appalling sight. 
Any misfortune befalling this Imperial gateway is a 
"very bad omen; some great misfortune is coming to the 
Throne.' ' But it was the work of their own hands. 

My thoughts went out to our brave men who are 
striving to come to our rescue. Without doubt they could 
see the fire and the burning tower, and would fear for our 
safety; but we are safe and we still feel that no harm will 
come to the Legations; that the Chinese Government will 
try to protect us, and that our brave men are worth more 
in a battle than ten thousand Boxers. The Boxers are 
afraid of firearms. 

We have been fenced in a little more and a little more, 
until now we do not go outside the guarded streets. It 
is difficult to get Chinese to carry a message to the Tsung 
Li Yamen, and Mr. Conger has found it almost impossible 
to get Chinese messengers to carry word to and from our 
coming troops. One of the American Legation ice coolies, 
an ugly-looking old fellow, said that he would go. He did 
go twice, and now he is off again. Poor old man, where 
is he ? He should have been in yesterday. Either he has 
been captured by Boxers, or Captain McCalla is keeping 
him to guide the troops into the city. 

We are shut in, and our coming troops, who started 
sixteen hundred strong a week ago last Sunday, must now 
get into the city as best they can. Twice last week mem- 
bers of the Tsung Li Yamen called on Mr. Conger; 
both times they came to ask him to stop the coming of his 
troops and turn them back. They made the same request 
of the other Ministers. A most positive "No" was the 
answer from all. Last night while we were at dinner 



106 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Mr. Conger was called out and asked if he would see 
members of the Tsung Li Yamen. He sent word that 
he would. Mr. Cheshire, Chinese secretary of the Lega- 
tion, and a guard went to meet them and to escort them 
through our fortified city. 

About ten o'clock this evening four members of the 
Tsung Li Yamen entered our Legation gate. They said 
that at five o'clock they were at the palace and that the 
Emperor and the Empress Dowager wished them to come 
to the American Legation, as it was friendly to China, and 
to say that they deeply regret what has happened through 
the fires and other destructive measures. They promised 
that the disturbances should stop. Mr. Conger told 
them that they were repeating the same old story. They 
do not stop it. Their people have been murdering our 
people, destroying and burning property, and danger 
threatens everywhere. If our troops had not been here, 
the Legation would have been sacrificed. They asked 
and urged that the coming troops go into camp outside 
the city gates. Mr. Conger most positively said, "No; 
they will come to the Legation, and if they are not enough, 
plenty more will come." 

They replied, "We know the foreign soldiers are far 
better than ours." 

Mr. Conger said, "All we desire is peace, protection, 
and a harmonious relation with your people. You 
do not give it to us and we foreign nations are obliged to 
call upon our countries for the protection that you should 
give. We must bring our soldiers to our Legations. Your 
own people are so afraid of the Boxers that it is with diffi- 
culty that we can send a messenger, even to the Tsung 
Li Yamen." 



OFFICIAL GOOD PROMISES 107 

Things have gone from bad to worse and the Chinese 
do not stop the fiendish work of the Boxers. How can 
the Ministers trust the Tsung Li Yamen, or believe one of 
their promises? While the Chinese officials were here, 
the guards fired some volleys which made the members 
of the Tsung Li Yamen quake. I am glad they came, 
for it shows them the situation of things and the feeling of 
the American Minister. Mr. Conger assured them that 
his Government wished China no harm, and would not 
harm one of her people except in self-defence or protec- 
tion. He told them they could see that all foreign prop- 
erty not protected by foreign troops had been destroyed 
and people persecuted and cruelly killed. Evidently 
the Government does not know how to act. These 
officials renewed their good promises and were safely 
escorted out of our " guarded city." 

All the small buildings west of the Russian Legation 
have been torn down, and everything that will burn has 
been hauled away and dumped into the canal; the brick 
and stones are built into fortifications across Legation 
Street and the marines are at work strengthening their 
breast- works. We believe that this very work has already 
saved much suffering. The Boxers dare not approach 
these barricades. 

The first rain for weeks has fallen to-day. No word 
from our coming troops as yet. Word comes — rumor 
— that the telegraph wires are down between Tientsin 
and Shanghai. But all the port cities can help them- 
selves; there is a way out. Tientsin has been greatly 
threatened. The Native City there is alive with Boxers. 
We cannot often hear how they are prospering in Tien- 
tsin, or elsewhere. Our position is now as though we 



io8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

were on board ship in unknown seas and battling with a 
terrific storm. 

British Legation, Peking, 
July 7, igoo. 

WHAT can I write? What a prolonged, dreadful 
dream! Who can tell it? It cannot be told, nor even 
imagined, but I will try to write something of our ex- 
periences. We kept getting into closer and closer 
quarters; the darkness thickened; still we kept hoping, 
looking, praying for our coming troops. 

On the afternoon of June nineteenth a letter from the 
Tsung Li Yamen came to Mr. Conger. Mr. Cheshire 
read it, as it was in Chinese. He arose at once and said 
to Mr. Conger, "Let us go to the office." In a few 
minutes I saw Mr. Conger hasten out of the Legation. 
Later, I saw Mr. Cheshire, and he read to me the message 
which had been sent by the Yamen. The following is 
its substance: 

" We learn that foreign troops are to fire upon our forts near 
Tientsin, hence we break off all diplomatic relations with your 
Government and ask you to leave Peking in twenty-four hours. 
No further protection will be given by us." 

Every Minister had received the same message, and 
all hastened to the Dean to hold a diplomatic meeting. 
It was out of the question to go; to leave our fortifications 
here and go across the country was sure death. A message 
was sent to the Yamen, " Impossible to leave in that 
time," etc., etc. The Ministers requested an audience 
with the Tsung Li Yamen. No reply came that night. 
They wished to go to the Yainen the following morning 
at nine o'clock. Still no reply. The German Minister 



BARON VON KETTELER 109 

decided to go alone, as he had other business with the 
Yamen. The others thought best to wait for the reply. 
He started with his interpreter, two mounted mafoos, and 
two chairs. They had not gone more than three-quarters 
of a mile before they were attacked. One mafoo rushed 
back to the German Legation; the other went to the 
Tsung Li Yamen. The interpreter was badly wounded 
and was taken into the Methodist mission. He is still 
alive. The Minister, Baron Von Ketteler, was shot 
through the head. Word was sent at once to the Tsung 
Li Yamen, and they found only the two chairs, badly 
crushed. 

It devolved upon me to bear the word to Baron Von 
Ketteler's American wife. While I was with her the 
order came to go at once to the British Legation. I 
helped her to pack a few things and we went together. 
Lady MacDonald took her in charge. I returned to the 
American Legation at about three o'clock and found that 
our people were moving to the British Legation. Every- 
body was busy, busy. The hour for immediate action 
had come. A missionary from the Methodist mission 
came to Mr. Conger and said, "The order has come for 
us to go at once to the British Legation; what shall I do 
with our Chinese Christians?" Mr. Conger replied, 
"Bring them. I do not know how they will be fed, but 
it is sure death to them if they are left behind. Bring 
them." 

They all came and are here. 

The Chinese were taken to the Fu where there were 
other Christian refugees. The foreign guards have ever 
since been holding the cross streets, Legation Street, and 
Wall Street, and protecting the Legations on these streets. 



no LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The Austrian, Dutch, and Belgian Legations have been 
burned, also the Imperial Customs, and all the missions, in- 
cluding the large Methodist mission. After we came here, 
the Dutch Legation, west of the American Legation, was 
set on fire and the wind took the flames up to our very 
walls, even burning the quarters of the American marines. 
Then the wind changed and fanned the flames away from 
our walls. Think of it! Our Legation was saved! An- 
other day, fire was set to the east of the American Legation 
and again the flames did their work of destruction up to our 
walls, and then went out. Again the Legation was saved ! 
All rejoice, because the situation of this Legation means 
much to all. The Germans, with other helpers, protect 
and hold the wall near the Hatamen to the east; and 
the American marines, with the Russian, hold the city 
wall at the west near the Ch'ienmen. 

The Chinese placed a big gun near the Ch'ienmen 
and opened fire on our men. If the wall were to be for- 
saken, the Chinese could come from the east and west and 
throw their shells right into the British Legation, where we 
have come for safety. The position on the wall has been 
most dangerous. Six of our American marines have been 
killed and twelve wounded. Among these is our efficient 
and much needed Dr. Lippet, who is now in the hospital. 
The hospital is filling up too full, as our men must take 
more and more risks in building barricades and in driv- 
ing back the enemy. The Chinese are building strong 
breast-works, and are fortifying and digging to plant 
mines. Our barricades on the wall have to be built at 
night. The Chinese crept closer and closer upon our 
men behind the breast-works. They had built a large 
barricade about forty feet from ours, and had dug trenches 



DEFENCE OF THE WALL in 

and built barricades around the bastion up to the very- 
foot of our large barricade. This was an exceedingly 
dangerous position for us. It was too near, and must be 
taken, or the wall abandoned. Plans were carefully 
made and the time was set for the attempt. Mr. Conger 
talked with the Ministers and had a private talk with Sir 
Claude MacDonald, the Dean, as to troops, and then with 
our Captain Myers. The responsibility was great, as the 
undertaking was a desperate one, but its awfulness could 
not make our men falter. 

Sixty marines went upon the wall that night to meet 
hundreds of Chinese. Captain Myers said to his men, 
" Men, when I say go, every one of you go. Remember 
there are three hundred women and children whose lives 
depend upon our success to-night. If we succeed, they 
live; if we fail, not only are our lives sacrificed, but their 
lives too. Now go!" They did go; no obstacle stayed 
them. In five minutes the Chinese were routed and the 
grand barricade built by them was taken. God be 
praised ! But our grand Captain Myers was wounded. 
The enemy had planted old spears in their barricade and 
Captain Myers ran against one, making a bad wound on 
his leg. Not all came out as well as did Captain Myers. 
One Russian and two Americans were killed. 

Mr. Conger counts the night of the second and the 
morning of the third of July, as the most anxious and 
trying period of his whole life. He felt responsible for 
the attack and its outcome. He keenly realized what 
depended upon those sixty men. They attacked and 
routed hundreds of Chinese soldiers from behind their 
heavy fortifications. Their work that night was a brave, 
a mighty one. These days try men to their very depths. 



ii2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The Germans have lost eight of their men and several 
are in the hospital. They were compelled to abandon 
the wall at the east, and our marines and the Russians 
now guard both ways. The Chinese big gun to the west 
does not fire in a direct line on the wall, because of their 
own men; but has been turned on the Legations. 

Yesterday I went to the American Legation with Mr. 
Conger to make a more thorough search in my boxes for 
things that could be used in the hospital and for sand bags, 
and to pack away some things that were standing about. 
As the quarters of the marines had been burned, our 
house was opened to them. Many things that could be 
used in the hospital, or made into sand bags, were at the 
first need turned over for common use. The bolts of 
new cotton, cretonne, sheeting, pillow casing, new table- 
cloths, napkins, and towels which I had just brought from 
America, and older ones, were turned into the common 
store. Bed-nets, pillows, mattresses, blankets, spreads, 
springs, draperies, dishes and provisions, dresses, skirts, 
shoes, clothing of all kinds, everything useful in fact, was 
turned over for use in the common cause. Others did 
likewise. Everything had to be done to make up even 
the simple requirements of a hospital; but our hearts 
and hands, with a will, make it the best we can. 

Mr. Conger helped me all the morning and our 
searching paid us. We went about the Legation to see 
what had been happening since I left it. The office 
building is in a deplorable state. Our dear home and 
the beautiful trees are a wreck. The dining-room has 
been turned into a drying-room for the hospital laundry 
and our other rooms into sleeping- rooms for the marines. 
Our kitchen is their cook-room, and our long butler's 



FLAGS ARE TARGETS 113 

pantry is their mess-room. We passed out of our com- 
pound and returned to the British Legation. Not an 
hour later a friend came in and said, "Mrs. Conger, here 
are the pieces of a shell that went through the roof and 
into the room where you and Mr. Conger were working 
this morning.' ' Pieces of shell entered five rooms. 
Later, our flag was a target; a shell struck the roof of the 
gateway building, and the pole and flag fell through the 
roof together. The marines snatched the flag and up it 
went again in the top of a tree nearby. The British flag 
has been shot down once, but it was soon up again. 
The German flag fell yesterday and the firing is too great 
for them to hoist it. All day to-day the Chinese have had 
a big gun turned on the French Legation, but with little 
effect as yet. As a usual thing they shoot too high. 
There is firing about us nearly every moment, but this 
we do not mind. It is the terrific attacks that make us 
walk the floors. 

We have horse and mule meat to eat. With the 
many stores that we had on hand and the quantities of 
flour, meal, rice, beans, etc., that we bought in case of 
need, we have been able to get along very nicely. Our 
family has had horse meat once and it was not bad. We 
also had mule meat once; I did not like it as well as the 
horse meat, still many people think it better. Only 
one of our horses has been sacrificed for food; we are 
willing to let them go and have turned them in to be used 
when needed. 

We are all one now — the foreigners here are one peo- 
ple. Every line of communication with the outer world 
has been cut off since June fourteenth. We have looked 
and looked for our coming troops, but have not for an 



ii 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

hour during day and night ceased our work of fortifying. 
Between the Legations there were abandoned Chinese 
shops in which were many things that we could use; 
there were also three foreign stores well filled. All were 
emptied into the British Legation and used. We not 
only found thousands and thousands of yards of cloth 
for sand bags, for hospital use, and for clothing for 
those who fled from their houses with just what they 
were wearing, but kitchen utensils, buckets in which to 
carry water in case of fires, stores of coal, two thou- 
sand bushels of wheat, seven Chinese grist-mills, and a 
small flock of sheep. 

The British Legation is large, about seven acres, and 
has excellent water in abundance. Sir Claude and Lady 
MacDonald, the British Minister and his wife, and their 
Legation helpers, have been most kind in their untir- 
ing work for the comfort of all these people who have 
come upon them. The first week that we were here, 
the Chinese tried to burn us out. Our men and women 
worked heroically and the fires came only as far as our 
Legation walls. 

Word has just come that the French Minister at his 
Legation heard distant cannon. Can it be our coming 
troops ? We have been hearing sounds and seeing lights 
for so long that we listen very little to rumors. We offer 
secret prayers each moment for the coming of our troops. 
Perhaps we have not yet been tested enough to be re- 
lieved. Some nights and days the firing has been most 
frightful. At first it was Boxers who attacked us; now 
it is the armed Chinese soldiers with their small arms 
and large foreign guns. There were hundreds and thou- 
sands of the Boxers, and now it is hundreds and thousands 



FLAGS ON FOREIGN GRAVES 115 

of soldiers that are righting us and striving to drive us out. 
The blowing of their horns, their yells, and the firing of 
their guns, are the most frightful noises I ever heard. It 
seems as though they were right here with us. The balls 
are continually whizzing by. When a general attack is 
made, the bell in the tower rings rapidly to tell all the 
men to be ready to do their best. This was exciting at 
first, but night after night of this firing, horn-blowing, 
yelling, and whizzing of bullets, has hardened us to it, 
or perhaps taught us to trust more in a greater and more 
loving Power. 

Our hearts ache for the brave men who are fighting 
day and night for our safety, until the coming troops can 
reach us. We have sometimes thought that our troops 
have not left Tientsin, or that a greater calamity has be- 
fallen them than us. We have not heard from the outer 
world since June fourteenth, and now it is July seventh. 

We did nothing to celebrate the Fourth, except to 
wear our little flags, attend to duties here, and send lov- 
ing thoughts homeward. Mr. Conger and I went over 
to the American Legation and got a silk flag and placed 
it over the graves of the six American marines. Many 
of the foreigners and all of the Diplomats called and con- 
gratulated us upon our Independence Day. They are 
always very prompt about those things. Mr. Conger 
spends most of his time at the American Legation con- 
sulting with the officers and encouraging them. 

This morning I made my rounds, then went off in a 
little nook by myself to read. I opened my Bible to see 
what lesson was there for me, and turned to Second 
Corinthians, first chapter. These words in the eighth, 
ninth, and tenth verses were my message: "For we 



n6 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble 
which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of 
measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired 
even of our life: But we had the sentence of death in 
ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in 
God which raiseth the dead: Who delivered us from so 
great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that 
he will yet deliver us." 

What think you ? I read aloud to Mrs. W. We looked 
at each other and wept together. 

We have heard from our coming troops. They came 
within thirty miles of Peking and were obliged to return 
to Tientsin to increase their force. Their sufferings 
and losses have been heartrending. The Boxers and 
soldiers combined made a strong army, and the deter- 
mined thought to wipe out foreigners and their ideas has 
become wild and angry. The foreigners who have 
known the Chinese longest and best say that they have 
never before seen anything like it in their character. 
They make attacks in the dark and the rain, a thing they 
would not heretofore do in their warfare. They are 
reckless, fierce, cruel, and determined. 

But it must be that God knows our needs. He has 
given or shown help to us in many ways during these 
days of test. God's loving hand alone saves us. I will 
try sometime to write in detail the many, many ways in 
which we recognize His saving power. The booming 
cannon send their shells right at us; they sometimes 
burst over our heads, sometimes they go beyond, but not 
a fragment touches us. When the enemy, after many at- 
tempts, gets the range to harm us, and a few shells would 
injure our buildings, then the hands of these Chinese 



FATE OF THE PONIES 117 

seem to be stayed. Not once have they continued firing 
to the entire destruction of one of these buildings or 
walls. How could this be true if God did not protect 
us ? His loving arm is round about us. 

These words from the third and fifth Psalms have 
been a refuge: "But, thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; 
my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. I cried unto 
the Lord with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy 
hill. I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the Lord 
sustained me. I will not be afraid of ten thousands of 
people, that have set themselves against me round about. 
. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, 
and my God; for unto thee will I pray." 

Our little band has watched, worked. When the 
Chinese burned their Native City, the wind took the 
flames from the Legations to the west. Only think of 
the food that was stored by the Chinese within "our 
fortified city"! We are grateful for the horse meat 
that we have had each day for weeks. Our stores and 
rice are getting low, but we do not think that our 
supplies will give out until our troops, fifty thousand 
strong, arrive. 

Our mule is gone and our ponies are all gone but one, 
daughter Laura's. First of all Mr. Conger's pony had 
to be eaten, as he hated foreigners as bitterly as do the 
Chinese. He would snort, strike, kick, and jump at 
foreigners, and would not touch a proffered morsel that 
the other ponies would eagerly eat. Two mafoos were 
obliged to stand at his head to conceal Mr. Conger while 
he was mounting. Then all was well, and the pony 
seemed happy. 

One morning very early the door into the hall quietly 



ON WALL AND IN TRENCHES 119 

by our men. If the Chinese start to make a raid from 
any direction, our men rally and pour heavy volleys upon 
them. They think us stronger than we are. Our cunning 
baffles them, and they seem to be superstitiously afraid. 
It is not the battles that wear upon our men, but the con- 
stant and intent watch lest they should be caught napping. 

Not only do our men watch from the house tops and 
the wall, but from deep in the ground, as they have to 
guard against mines. All along the north and west we 
have dug trenches to intercept the laying of mines. 
The French Legation has been almost wholly destroyed 
by mines and fires. We hear loud noises in the direc- 
tion of the Peitang. What can be the fate of those poor 
people! We cannot hear one word from them. We 
have tried to get messengers to bring us word, but with- 
out success. 

Over twenty couriers have been sent out to get word 
of our coming troops. Only two have gotten through 
to Tientsin and returned to us. All sorts of clever 
schemes are laid for concealing messages. 

Laura, dear girl, was physically weak when we went 
into the siege. At first when the severe attacks came 
upon us she was almost frantic, and she grew weaker 
and weaker. It seemed as though the ravaging enemy 
could not be stayed. Their yells and howls could be 
heard mingled with their awful firing. You cannot 
know how it sounds. I gave her one thought to ponder, 
which I think has been helpful to her. It is this: "When 
you are becoming frightened, turn your thoughts to some 
blessing and give thanks to God with your whole heart." 
Gradually she grew calmer, and for more than a week 
she has been getting stronger, eating more, sleeping more, 



iao LETTERS FROM CHINA 

and working all the time. She does not undress at night 
yet, but there are many who do not. She and Mary are 
two dear and helpful girls. 

Our boy Wang is always trying to prepare something 
delicate for "Miss Laura." One day, on our little square 
table with our allotted food, was a plate with two small 
rice birds upon it. I asked Wang what they were and 
where they came from. "For Miss Laura. I put rice 
on floor; small bird come. I shut door and window; 
catch bird. Cook make 'em Miss Laura." This is only 
an illustration of his thoughtfulness for her. This man 
at the head of our servants is willing and ready to do 
anything for us or for others that is in his power. Our 
servants who are left to us boil and filter many bottles of 
water each day for the hospital, care for Captain Myers, 
run errands, and fill bags. Their ready hands and willing 
hearts find much to do in many directions. Most of our 
nine servants who came to the British Legation with us 
are doing general work with the mass of the Chinese 
refugees. We are all working. 

Daughter Laura has full charge of the food supplies 
and looks carefully to the amount and quality of each 
meal. As there are nine in our family this is no small 
task. When we gather to partake of our scanty food we 
all stand while Dr. Martin raises his hands and in a clear 
voice asks the dear Father to give us more grace, more 
patience, more gratitude. Surely this is the food we most 
need. 

Our dining-room, sitting-room, reception room, and 
sleeping-room, all in one, is an active workshop through the 
day. Two sewing-machines are in constant use. Noth- 
ing was ready for the hospital, and as it is filling, increas- 



SUPPLY OF AMMUNITION 121 

ing demands are made daily. With constant work, the 
supply has been sufficient. Lady physicians turn nurses; 
college teachers turn cooks; ladies turn servants for the 
sick and wounded. The true sister is not found wanting. 
Women serve in these capacities, as men must serve in 
other ways. There are sick children and adults to be 
cared for, and loving hands reach out to help them. The 
mounds in the open space to the south of us speak of 
heart-sorrows. The hour is most testing. 



[To a Nephew] 

British Legation, Peking, 
July 18, igoo. 

AS YOU are always so deeply interested in knowing 
what we are doing, I am going again to my diary and will 
send you some items from its pages. 

July 8. A Japanese was severely wounded this 
morning and an Austrian captain killed. It nearly breaks 
our hearts to lose one of our number, or to have one dis- 
abled. # Captain Myers is somewhat better. Two Amer- 
ican marines have been suffering from chills and fever, 
but are better. They are cared for in our Legation home. 
Dr. Lowry has taken Dr. Lippet's place since he was 
wounded. He fearlessly goes into the most dangerous 
places when duty calls. 

This morning three quarts of bullets were picked up 
that the enemy had fired into the American Legation. 
They are to be melted and made into balls for the big 
gun belonging to the Italians. All the temple candlesticks, 
vases, images, in fact everything that can be melted, have 
been gathered and moulded into ammunition. Moulds 



i22 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

had to be improvised to do this work. There are no idle 
hands in these quarters. There are no sand bags to be 
made to-day, nor other sewing to be done. I visited the 
hospital twice, as usual, to see what supplies were needed. 
More draw-sheets, aprons, and pillow cases must be made 
to-morrow. 

A large iron ball just fell below our window, but it 
did no harm. The ball is still warm. Another, at least 
six inches in diameter, went whizzing through the walls 
of the British Minister's dining-room. Fortunately it 
passed near the ceiling, so it did no damage aside from 
knocking off a corner of the frame of Queen Victoria's 
portrait. The Chinese are firing their big guns by far 
too much for our comfort. 

Many of the native refugees at the Fu are to be re- 
moved to buildings on Legation Street. There is some 
sickness in the Fu and it is feared that it might spread by 
having the coolies go back and forth. What should we 
do without the Chinese coolies? They are necessary and 
efficient workers in building barricades, digging ditches, 
putting out fires, and in doing all sorts of manual labor. 
The British held communion services to-day at Sir 
Claude's home. The French Catholics held services, as 
did also the Russians at their quarters, and the Americans 
at the chapel. Our many American missionaries occupy 
this chapel as their home while in siege. This is our first 
opportunity for general worship, our first relief from 
sewing. The other Sundays were full to overflowing with 
bag-making and sewing for the hospital. The men have 
no relief; they cannot for a moment leave their watchful 
guard. 

There is a bell tower, with a hanging bell, just in 



UNDER FIRE, BUT SAVED 123 

front of this chapel. This bell serves us well and its call 
can be heard throughout our fortified city. In case of 
general attack from the Chinese it rings furiously for all 
to rally. In case of fire it tolls, but the rally is just as 
quickly made as before. The foundation of this tower 
is used as a bulletin station, and here the cable despatches, 
messages, edicts, and rumors are posted. Laura and 
Mary copy many of the most interesting for me. 

The new improvised gun, well named the " Inter- 
national," after being tried at the American Legation, 
was brought over here and is now firing at the guns point- 
ing on the Fu. It cannot be fired often, as it kicks itself 
out of position. The men are at work trying to fix up 
another gun. The evening was quiet, but at ten o'clock 
terrific firing from small arms, big guns, and the horrid 
jingals began, and lasted about thirty minutes; then 
followed more moderate volleys. At three o'clock the 
Chinese with yells, horns, rifle fire, and cannonading, 
were set loose. The skies were brilliant with flashes and 
noisy with whizzing bullets and bursting shells. Our 
brave men have learned to use their ammunition only 
when it is really necessary to sweep down upon the enemy 
in their raids. The Chinese are not so careful of their 
supplies. It is most wonderful how we are protected 
day and night. The Almighty Hand is above us and we 
trustingly know it. 

A fire was set in the Fu by the Chinese, and raged for 
a time. It is under control now, but it has burned most 
valuable buildings and rich treasures belonging to Prince 
Su, a wealthy Chinese official and one of the hereditary 
Princes. If this fire does not spread, it will help our men 
by leaving an opening where they can detect the position 



i2 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

of the enemy. The Fu, or part of it, has now about two 
thousand Chinese refugees in it; these the enemy are 
trying to destroy, but they are too furious to execute well 
their devilish designs. The Fu seems to be their present 
objective point. 

July g. Two years ago to-day Mr. Conger presented 
his credentials to the Emperor of China. How many 
events have been crowded into these two years! and what 
a beginning of a third ! Last night was noisy most of the 
time after ten o'clock. At three was a general attack, but 
our tower bell did not call for a rally of our people. The 
attack was fierce for about twenty-five minutes. Later 
the big guns boomed at intervals. 

We are making more sand bags, as many of the first 
we made are bursting. Some of them are of richest silks, 
satins, and fine embroideries; others are of the coarsest 
cottons and hemp. Everything available is used. The 
fine texture of some of them cannot stand the rains, hot 
sunshine, and heavy weight. These sand bags suggest to 
me the people who are working here side by side; people 
of all callings working together in one common cause. 
Here in this awful peril rank is little recognized, and much 
less claimed. A lady of title, position, and wealth, and 
in deepest sorrow, looked most appealingly in my face 
to-day and said, "No title, no position, no money, can 
help us here — these things mock us." She is right; 
each one stands for the good he can do. We are all work- 
ing for a common cause and giving the best that is in us. 
"Be strong and of good courage. I will be with thee; 
I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." (Joshua 1:6, 5.) 

July 10. It is becoming difficult to get material for 
sand bags. This morning soldiers' blankets were cut 



"THE INTERNATIONAL " 125 

up. In fact everything is used that will hold sand. I 
visited the hospital and took a new supply of draw-sheets, 
pillow cases, and bandages. They wish more bandages 
and pajamas for the patients. Laura and Mary quickly 
made five pairs of pajamas, and later I took them to the 
hospital. Two pairs were white, three pairs were made of 
the girls' blue and white window curtains. To-night the 
girls have found more cloth and to-morrow they will make 
it into pajamas. Material at times seems to be getting 
very low, but in the hour of need more is discovered. 

I would love to say to you many things that pen and 
paper can never say. I love my religion as I never before 
knew how to love it. It is surely refuge and strength in 
time of need. As the clouds thicken, we have to watch 
that we may not stumble. 

Our new gun, the " International/ ' manned by our 
American gunner, is booming at times and shakes 
the buildings. The noise is great. This is fine for us, as 
the Chinese are frightened at noise. The evening was 
quiet until about nine, then stray shots began to cut the 
leaves and branches above our heads. At eleven, the 
whole north seemed to be coming down upon us. The 
blowing of rallying horns, yells, volleys, and booming of 
cannon, were most fearful. Our "International" made 
the greatest noise for us. We are having most delightful 
weather — wonderful for this season in Peking; surely it 
is most divinely given. Our dear Laura has conquered 
herself by her untiring thought and work for others. She 
is calm and helps to fight many battles of this dreadful 
siege. God is helping and sustaining her. My two dear 
girls! How could I do without them! They never 
murmur over their privations. The doctors and nurses 



126 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

at the hospital say that the sick and wounded are doing 
well. 

Mrs. M. sent for her sewing-machine. Some of the 
missionaries are making trousers for our marines. Their 
change of clothing did not reach them from Tientsin. 
These marines are sorely tried, for their clothes are soiled 
and warm and they have to wear them day and night. 
Another sewing-machine was brought to us from the 
German Legation. The Spanish Minister brought two 
pictures from his Legation that his daughter had painted 
and sent to him. He asked if they might be hung upon 
these walls and then if he might come to see them each 
day. He told us about these pictures and his daughter 
and his family. He handled the pictures tenderly and 
requested that he might hang them unaided. He is here 
alone, the only member of his Legation, and he had no 
good place to hang these pictures that he loved. 

July ii. Firing commenced about three o'clock. 
One man was killed and four wounded; thus our ranks 
are thinning. We cannot spare these brave men. There 
is but little firing to-day, still we are not idle. Work is 
the order for all. A call came for sand bags for the Fu. 
These bags and more supplies for the hospital are being 
made. It is said that Prince Ch'ing's troops and Prince 
Tuan's are fighting each other. We hear distant can- 
nonading and there are not so many soldiers and Boxers 
fighting us as usual. We are shut in so completely that 
we do not know what is going on outside. We hear 
nothing of our coming troops. The enemy's big guns 
on the wall keep in their places and play upon us at times. 
Our " International" now and then speaks in its terri- 
fying voice. Work on the wall continues. Last night 



EXTENT OF "FORTIFIED CITY" 127 

guns and flags that the enemy had left were captured; 
this was a dangerous thing to do. In an attack upon 
the French Legation eighteen Chinese were captured. 
After examination they were put to death. Great efforts 
are made to dispose of the Chinese killed on the wall the 
night of July third; the stench is dreadful. 

July 12. Less firing during the night than we have 
had for some time. This morning no one was reported as 
killed or wounded; we rejoice. All the morning the big 
guns were firing at intervals. The French Legation was 
severely attacked and two soldiers and two civilians were 
wounded. This is a common grief. There were many 
brave acts during the day, through which rifles and flags 
were captured. The "International" is taken to all 
parts of our fortified city. 

"Our city" reaches from the German Legation at 
the east, south of Legation Street, to the west side of the 
American Legation. This secures a passageway to the 
city wall between these two points. North of Legation 
Street our domain reaches from the French Legation, 
east, to the Russian, west. This includes eight Legations. 
The German and the American Legations are south of 
Legation Street; the French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, 
British, and Russian are north of Legation Street. The 
Fu is on the north between the Legations. In this district 
there are many other buildings, both Chinese and foreign, 
which are of value to us on account of their supplies. 

It is getting quite hot. I never saw such swarms of 
flies, mosquitoes, and fleas. Our people strive to keep 
the animals and dead Chinese buried, but they are often 
beyond our safety line and it is very dangerous to attempt 
to reach them, even under cover of the night. 



i28 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Mr. Cheshire was on the wall with a relay of coolies 
last night and goes again to-night. He is one of the 
ablest workers. He never sings his own praises, but is 
always on duty with a cheerful heart, willing hand, and 
a head full of good judgment. His knowledge of Chi- 
nese and his willingness to use it often cause him to do 
double duty. 

How long — oh, how long shall we be tested in this 
awful way ? 

Psalm 27:14: "Wait on the Lord: be of good 
courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, 
I say, on the Lord." 

At seven o'clock there was a fierce, general, and pro- 
longed attack. It was simply terrifying. Our tower 
bell rang furiously, calling every man to his post; he 
was there! The hard, incessant firing lasted one and 
one-half hours; from seven o'clock on through the night 
there was no quiet. The Chinese had undermined the 
French Legation wall and planted a mine to blow it up. 
It did great damage. There were two fires set in the 
Legation. The enemy seems to know that if they can 
rout us out of this stronghold, they will gain a great 
point. They make severe attacks upon the French and 
German Legations and upon the Fu. For several days 
their united efforts have been in these directions. These 
points are east and southeast of us. Our brave men do 
wonderful work. 

Dr. Martin is with us. He rises very early each 
morning and goes to his post at the gate, where he ques- 
tions all Chinese who enter, and examines their passes. 
He scarcely leaves, except to eat his simple food. There 
was a fire south of the German Legation stables, and with 



GERMAN MARINES WIN i* 9 

these severe attacks from that direction the situation 
darkens. This last general attack is the most deter- 
mined and prolonged of all, and the bullets and shells 
come into this Legation in a terrific way. The enemy 
seems to have the range more accurately than before. 

About six o'clock the Chinese made a raid down 
Wall Street from the east. Our men turned volleys 
upon them, killing many and turning back the rest. 
The Chinese gained nothing. Upon the city wall, to 
the south, there are now stationed about twenty-five 
American and Russian marines. The Japanese, Ger- 
mans, and French are suffering so many losses that their 
numbers are few. They still hold their Legations and the 
Fu. Legation Street has many barricades built by our 
men in order to save themselves if driven back. The 
Germans were routed from behind the first barricade to 
the east and took refuge behind the next. The Chinese 
followed in large numbers. The German captain gave 
a quick order for his bugler to blow the " attack." He 
did so, and they all turned, twenty of them, and fired 
volleys upon the Chinese, many of whom fell and many 
ran, leaving rifles and ammunition. These brave Ger- 
mans regained the lost barricade. 

July 14. A dreadful night! Angry firing was kept 
up the night through. The booming of the big guns 
shook the very earth and seemed to threaten destruction 
to all our fortifications and to us. This morning the 
thunders of the heavens joined the thunders of the guns, 
and for a time they seemed to vie with each other. When 
the heavy rainfall came, the firing grew less, but it con- 
tinued from some points all day. The bullets whizz 
above our heads. The Chinese often fire high, for which 



i 3 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

we give thanks. There were five men wounded in this 
awful fight, and one killed. Last night our people built 
a barricade east of the bridge; so if the French and 
German Legations have to be given up, the men can 
be protected in their flight. Must these brave men be 
compelled to leave -these Legations which have cost so 
many lives to save! It surely cannot be. Let us hope 
and trust to the last. 

Word just came to us that the French were obliged 
to give up a large portion of their Legation. The mines 
that the Chinese lighted killed two hundred of their own 
men. There were two Frenchmen burned. The first 
mine completely confined the Austrian charge d'affaires. 
The second explosion relieved him. His wounds were 
slight. A most marvellous escape! The Minister's 
house burned during the night. It is thought that the 
rest of the French Legation can be held several days 
longer. The "International" was taken to the French 
Legation for duty this afternoon. Much of the wheat, 
and five grist mills were brought over here for greater 
safety. 

The following message has just been received by the 
foreign Ministers, and posted at the bell tower: 

{Translation of letter sent July fourteenth to Sir Claude 
MacDonald.) 

"For the last ten days the soldiers and militia have been 
fighting, and, to our great anxiety, there has been no commu- 
nication between us. 

"Some time ago we hung up a board expressing our in- 
tentions, but no answer has been received, and, contrary to our 
expectation, the foreign soldiers made renewed attacks, caus- 
ing alarm and suspicion among soldiers and people. Yesterday 
the troops captured a convert named Chin su Hai and learned 




Prince Ch'ing, Premier of China, One of the Negotiators 
in 1900 



LETTER FROM THE YAMEN 131 

from him that all the foreign Ministers were well. It caused 
us great satisfaction. But it is the unexpected that happens. 
The reinforcements of foreign troops were ever so long ago 
stopped and turned back by the Boxers; and if in accordance 
with the previous agreement we were to guard Your Excel- 
lencies out of the City, there are so many Boxers in the 
Tientsin Taku road that we should be very apprehensive of 
misadventure. We now request Your Excellencies to first take 
your families and the various members of your staffs and leave 
your Legations in detachments. We would select trust- 
worthy officers to give close and strict protection and you should 
temporarily reside in the Tsung Li Yamen, pending future 
arrangements for your return home, in order to preserve friendly 
relations intact from beginning to end. 

" But at the time of leaving the Legation there must on no 
account whatever be any single armed foreign soldier, in order 
to prevent doubt and fear on the part of the troops and people 
leading to untoward incidents. If Your Excellencies are will- 
ing to show this confidence, we beg of you to communicate with 
all the foreign Ministers in Peking to-morrow at noon to the 
limit of time and to let the original messenger deliver your 
reply in order that we may settle in advance the day for leav- 
ing the Legations. This is the simplest way of preserving 
relations that we have been able to devise in the face of 
unavoidable difficulties. If your reply is not received by the 
time fixed, even our affection will not enable us to help you. 

" Compliments Prince Ch'ing and others. 
" Sixth month, eighteenth day." 

A reply has been sent to-day on the part of the fore'gn 
representatives declining the invitation to proceed to 
the Tsung Li Yamen and pointing out that no attacks 
have been made by our troops, who are only defending 
our lives and property against the attacks of Chinese 
Government troops. The reply concludes with a state- 
ment that if the Chinese Government wishes to negotiate, 
it should send a responsible official with a white flag. This 
communication was signed by Sir Claude MacDonald. 



132 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

July 75. A messenger sent out five days ago returned 
saying that after leaving the wall he was taken to a temple, 
beaten, and then sent to the Imperial City, to Jung Lu's 
headquarters. Here he was kept two days, given a 
letter with proposals of peace, then taken back to the 
temple, and with a Chinese officer and some soldiers re- 
turned to the Water Gate. He was horribly beaten. 

A short but severe attack about seven o'clock. 

I cannot tell when this letter will start on its journey 
homeward. What can the dear home folks be thinking 
of us? Of course you know absolutely nothing. 

[To a Nephew] 

British Legation, Peking, 
{Siege Days), July 20, 1900. 

ITEMS from my diary will give you some idea of 
what we are doing from day to day. 

July J5. The night was not quiet, but the attacks 
were short and fierce. A terrific attack came upon us 
about two o'clock to-day like a clap of thunder from a 
clear sky. Fortunately, the whizzing shells passed over us 
too high to do us much harm. A British student, Mr. 
Warren, was badly wounded during a severe attack in the 
evening. We cannot spare him! The Chinese send up 
signal rockets, which give orders to fire and to cease firing. 
They seem to be promptly obeyed. Our brave men on the 
city wall see these signals. There is much watchful work 
being done by special active committees. If the good 
deeds of each individual were recorded, a commendatory 
article would be written of each person. 

The members of the British Minister's staff gave up 



ALL MAKE COMMON CAUSE 133 

their homes in this Legation to their sister Legations, and 
gratefully are we crowded together in our allotted quarters. 
This staff have gone to their Minister's home, or elsewhere. 
Many foreigners outside of the Diplomatic Service are 
crowded in smaller houses, or in open pavilions. With- 
out being here, no one can imagine our direful situation. 
There is too much at stake for us to stop and complain 
over anything. Our hearts are opened in one great 
praise song, for in this awful tornado the dark clouds 
separate above our heads and show that the sun is still 
shining. The magnitude of the mighty Power protecting 
this little spot of earth, in these awful days, is far beyond 
human conception. The Ministers and their helpers 
stand for the foreign nations, and have their important 
places; the sturdy, intelligent men of the Imperial 
Customs are ever active; the missionaries know the 
Chinese language and people, and are scientific, practical 
men, quietly doing their best; the marines of the eight 
nations are brave men and are doing mighty work day and 
night. 

We have dismantled our home; everything has been 
taken that could be made into sand bags, used in the 
hospital, or on the city wall. Others have done likewise. 
This is the time to share what we have — God will take 
care of our future needs. Common trials make us willing 
to respond to common demands. 

July 16. The Chinese gained ground on the city wall 
from the Hatamen. We deeply regret this, because it 
weakens the position of the Germans, and the Chinese 
crowd down nearer our men on the wall. The Germans 
and French had a severe struggle again last night. They 
have been truly brave in their sore trials. We are mourn- 



i34 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

fully saddened this morning. Commander Strouts 
(British), ranking officer of foreign troops, when on his 
way to the Fu with marines, was badly wounded. We 
cannot afford to lose our officers. Their men need their 
good cheer, bravery, and practical knowledge. Our 
men are not now going one by one, but two by two, and 
even more rapidly, and our hearts are sorely grieved. 
Later, word comes that one of our American marines is 
badly wounded in the breast. Dr. Morrison was also 
wounded this morning. Dr. Lippet is doing well. 

Our wounded marine died this afternoon and was 
buried in the Russian Legation, with his comrades who 
have fallen. Mr. Conger, Mr. Bainbridge, American 
missionaries, and several ladies were present to bury him. 
Mr. Conger made a few remarks, Dr. Wherry read a 
Scripture lesson, Dr. Smith then spoke feelingly, and Dr. 
Martin offered prayer. The remains were wrapped in 
the American flag and then lowered into their earthly bed. 
Mary and I placed flowers in the grave. All remained 
until the grave was filled, then we placed green branches 
upon the seven mounds and a small silk flag among them 
for all. Captain Myers is still suffering from his wound. 
Captain Hall is not well to-day and is off duty. Captain 
Strouts and Mr. Warren both died from the effects of 
their severe wounds. The English service was read on 
the way to the grave. Many followed in a long proces- 
sion. Both were buried in one grave, with the impressive 
English service. During this service two shells went 
whizzing over our heads and burst just beyond us. 

In the midst of the service Mr. Conger was hurriedly 
called away. There was a cablegram of some sort in code. 
The same messenger brought it who had been whipped, 



AN INTERCEPTED DESPATCH 135 

who had come with the letter from Prince Ch'ing, and 
who had been sent back with a reply. Mr. Conger and 
his staff worked diligently with the message to make some- 
thing out of it. It was evidently from the American Gov- 
ernment code book, but by whom, when, or where it was 
made, could not be detected. Of course, it means some- 
thing. It is food for guessing, and creates much interest 
among the Ministers and others. This message was said 
to have come from General Jung Lu's headquarters and 
was under red cover. It read as follows: 

" Communicate tidings, bearer." 

Mr. Conger sent the following answer in Department 
code: 

" For one month we have been besieged in British Legation 
under continued shot and shell from Chinese troops. Quick 
relief only can prevent general massacre." 

Accompanying this cablegram was the following letter 
to the Tsung Li Yamen, dated July 17, 1900: 

"Thanking you for the partial telegram sent me, I enclose 
reply, as you suggest, which I shall be glad to have forwarded 
to the address named in the original cablegram, but which you 
have omitted in the copy sent me. I will also thank you to send 
me the original cablegram entire." 

July ij. Two men wounded during the night. 

All up and down the streets outside our guarded 
city are Chinese soldiers with white flags. A message 
has been sent to the Chinese officers that we would not 
fire on the white flag, and now all seem to be using it. 
What can this quiet mean to-day? Our guards are just 
as watchful, if not more so, when all is quiet. A letter 
from the Yamen to the Ministers last night said they 



136 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

would bring more Chinese troops into the city to protect 
us, and troops did come through the Ch'ienmen. But 
such protection as they have been giving us we do not 
much enjoy. Can they be planning a trap for us? Let 
us trust not. 

The Chinese kept on building a barricade on Legation 
Street West. Our men put up a notice, "Stop work, or 
we will fire." The " International " was taken over, and 
as the work was not discontinued, our men fired. For 
a time there was some firing on both sides. To-day a 
messenger from General Jung Lu came asking if Chinese 
officials cannot hold a conference with our officials to 
discuss the situation and arrange terms. He said that 
General Jung Lu gave orders to cease firing. Not one 
shot was fired at the German Legation last night. 

July i*j. During the afternoon, Mr. Conger received 
the following reply to his note: 

"We have just received Your Excellency's note together 
with the cablegram you sent. The cablegram of yesterday was 
from His Excellency Wu, transmitting an inquiry from the 
Secretary of State asking if Mr. Conger was well. 

"We now enclose a copy of Mr. Wu's cablegram for your 
perusal. The reply you sent we will transmit to Mr. Wu, to 
be by him sent to the Honorable Secretary of State. 

"Compliments, Prince Ch'ing and others. 
"Twenty-first day, sixth moon." 

The following is a copy of the cablegram sent by His 
Excellency, Wu Ting Fang: 

" The United States cheerfully aids China, but it is thinking 
of Mr. Minister Conger. The Honorable Secretary of State 
inquires after him by cablegram which I beg to be transmitted 
to him and get his reply. 
" Fifteenth day, sixth moon." 



RELIEF FROM TIENTSIN 137 

We are almost paralyzed. We cannot give expression 
to our pent-up flood of delight. The cablegram was 
dated July 11, 190O0 Only think, the return message 
will reach Washington within six days! It was sent July 
sixteenth. 

After Mr. Conger received his explanation, he went 
over to the bell-tower headquarters and to the chapel and 
told them all about it. English and other nationalities 
came up and listened. An Englishman said to Mrs G. : 
"No other Minister but an American would take the 
trouble to explain matters to his nation's subjects." 

In the distance, we hear the blowing of horns and now 
and then the booming of cannon. We cannot know what 
it means and where it is. The stillness here is almost 
frightful. Arrangements were made to-day between 
"Prince Ch'ing and others" and our foreign Ministers 
that firing and the fortifying work should cease. 

July 18. A quiet night. How strange it seems! 
There were only stray shots heard. Every one outside 
seems to be resting, and so are we, yet we are always on 
the watch. We went over to the American Legation 
to-day. Captain Hall is recovering from his illness. 

A messenger sent to Tientsin by the Japanese Minis- 
ter returned to-day. He brings the following message: 

"The forts near Tientsin at Ta Ku were taken July 14. 
Troops start for Peking about July 20. Waiting for arrival 
of more troops. " 

When will they reach us? 

Thus we see that our Seymour "coming troops" 
are not coming. They met with great. reverses and had 
to return to Tientsin, What their trials and losses were 



138 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

we do not know. This touch with the outside world is 
worth much to us. We know that our relief has not yet 
left Tientsin, but it is coming! 

A Chinese official came to-day to hold an interview 
with the foreign Ministers. He informed them that the 
Viceroy Li Hung Chang has been recalled to this Prov- 
ince from the South. It seems that in time of trouble 
they call on him for help; in time of peace, they are 
afraid of him. There has been almost absolute cessa- 
tion from firing through the day and evening. If the 
Chinese officials could, by a few orders, stop all firing 
in the hottest of the fight, why did they not do it before ? 
Much goes to show that they did not intend to protect 
us. Only think of it! They are allowing their armies 
to fire upon the representatives of eleven nations! What 
terms can they hope to receive from these nations? 
Before the Ta Ku forts were taken, Chinese around us 
were terrific in their anger. Now they pretend to be 
friendly and cease their firing upon us. This seems to 
be done to save themselves after they see that they can- 
not easily destroy foreigners nor make them give up. 

No new patients in the hospital. All are cheerful, 
and most of the men are doing well. Let us hope that 
no more of our brave men will be sacrificed. The 
French Minister received a message through the Tsung 
Li Yamen. It must have been sent by his Government 
about the fourteenth. Mr. Conger prepared a second 
cablegram to be sent to the Department of State. The 
French, Russian, and English Ministers prepared cable- 
grams and asked the Tsung Li Yamen to forward them 
to their Governments. The Yamen replied, "We sent 
the American Minister's first message because arrange- 



CHINA AND THE POWERS 139 

ments were made for it. We cannot send more." The 
Tsung Li Yamen has been sending messages to its Min- 
isters in foreign countries to remain at their posts and 
hold peaceful relations with the powers. What an ab- 
surdity, when they have ordered the Ministers of foreign 
countries in Peking to " leave in twenty-four hours." 
After which time, they "will give no protection." 

Mr. Conger visited the Fu and all the Legations. 
The German Legation has suffered greatly from shot and 
shell, and the French still more. No word has as yet 
been received from the Peitang. On clear days, the 
cross on the cathedral stands out boldly. It must be 
very hard for the people there. They can hear nothing 
from here or elsewhere, and cannot know the situation. 
At times, we have thought that the big guns were turned 
upon them, but could not know, as they are four miles 
from us. 

July 20. Perhaps our much-looked-for relief can 
start from Tientsin to-day. 

The weather is unusually fine. Our bomb-proof 
cellars are half full of water, but we have not been obliged 
to enter them as yet. 

Well, my dear nephew, what do you think of the his- 
tory that is being made? Only a small portion of it 
will ever be handed down for future generations to 
ponder. 

[To a Sister] 

British Legation, Peking, 
August 7, 1 goo. 
THERE is great excitement inside and outside of Pe- 
king. Edicts from the Throne have been sent to the 



Ho LETTERS FROM CHINA 

different Provinces to hasten troops in defence of their 
capital, but they do not respond freely. Excuses come 
from the South, so we learn from Chinese Gazettes, of 
which Dr. Martin has succeeded in obtaining thirty 
copies. We see by edicts and other official matter that 
the Government has been in sympathy with the Boxer 
movement, and that the Empress Dowager seems to 
have " mothered" it. Now, it appears that the move- 
ment has been too much for the Empress Dowager, as 
she has embittered and aroused the whole world against 
China. It occurs to me that the translation of some of 
these edicts would be of interest to you. 



EDICT 
"Concerning the wretches who have been burning houses, 
robbing, and killing the people these many days, they have 
caused this region to be all in disorder. It is ordered that the 
Governor General and Governors and the high military offi- 
cials should clearly ascertain the circumstances and unite in 
reducing to order and quiet the confusion, and root out the 
cause of the disturbance. Cause all places to know this gen- 
eral edict. " 

EDICT 

"They also, on account of the minds of the people in the 
city being excited and the difficulty of maintaining a complete 
defence, discussed with the various foreign Ministers the ques- 
tion of detaching troops to give them safe escorts to Tientsin 
in order to avoid doubt and apprehension. We direct the 
Grand Secretary Jung Lu to select in advance trustworthy 
civil and military officers of high rank to take trusted troops, 
and when the foreign envoys have fixed the date for leaving 
the city give them safe conduct on the road. If there should 
be evil doers who lie in wait to plunder, these are to be imme- 
diately killed. Let there not be the slightest remissness. 
Before the envoys leave the capital, if they have telegrams to send 
to their countries, provided they are not in code, the Tsung 



INCANTATIONS OF BOXERS 141 

Li Yamen is promptly to arrange the matter for them without 
delay. This will exhibit the great desire of the Throne to treat 
the people from afar with tenderness." 

EDICT 
"Of late there have been in the neighborhood of Peking 
many cases of wanton robbery and murder by bad characters 
feigning to belong to the Boxers. If no strict distinction is 
drawn, internal dissensions will be added to foreign trouble, 
and the state of the country will be indescribable. Tsai Husu 
is ordered to keep those members of the Boxers who have made 
submission under strict control, and expel all persons pre- 
tending to belong to it as an excuse for raising trouble. All 
cases of gangs collecting to commit murder from motives of 
vengeance are to be dealt with under the laws against brig- 
andage. There is to be no mercy shown to further disorders." 

The Chinese are exceedingly superstitious; rumors 
say that Prince Tuan, the father of the heir apparent, 
called a large number of the Boxers to his palace before 
the final outbreak, to see them go through their surpris- 
ing and wonderful incantations. He was persuaded 
that they were sent by the gods to save China from the 
foreigners; hence he presented his convictions to Her 
Majesty, and she consented to witness their mesmeric 
power. The Empress Dowager, too, was persuaded 
that they were sent by the gods to save China. The 
Chinese Empire and the Boxers joined hands to fight 
the outside world and everything foreign, and to bring 
back the former China and her doings. They surely 
have fought frantically. Impressed as were the Em- 
press Dowager and Prince Tuan, according to their 
superstitions, they were compelled to heed these im- 
pressions or the gods would fiercely rebuke them. Evi- 
dently there is a division of opinion in the Imperial 



142 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Palace, and this division has brought about two factions. 
Since we have been in this confinement, messages have 
come to the Ministers signed by the Tsung Li Yamen with 
official covering and in official style. Other messages 
have come signed " Prince Ch'ing and others"; these 
did not bear the official air through and through. These 
little straws signify much to the Ministers. 

All is quiet now. We expect our troops about the 
twenty-eighth, but we still keep our barricades in repair 
and build them higher and stronger. 

July 22. Still in this dreadful confinement! There 
has been very little firing since the sixteenth. Under 
cover of night, the Chinese work industriously on 
barricades. They will do our men much damage if 
they again open up their firing, but under no circum- 
stances shall we give the enemy the least provocation to 
begin anew their devilish work. 

Sir Robert Hart comes to see us nearly every day, 
but will never eat one morsel of our food. He says that 
he must eat no one's food but his own these times. To- 
day he talked a long while about China and her people. 
He told me that the Boxer movement is very old, and 
that it was at first an almost purely patriotic movement, 
encouraged and supported by leading people in China. 
He also thought it not doomed now; it is so deeply rooted 
that he believes it will have a long future. The Chinese 
seem to act as though they thought this year's labor a 
struggle for their existence. The edicts emanating from 
the Throne have been recklessly daring. This year has 
two eighth moons, or months, and superstition says that 
this is very unfortunate to the Throne. Some calamity 
is to befall the Empire if not prevented through sacrifices. 



LETTERS FROM THE YAMEN 143 

There are no new patients in the hospital. All are 
doing well. 

July 25. Terrific firing again about two o'clock this 
morning. This is the first great firing since the night 
of July sixteenth. The messenger, disguised as a fortune- 
teller, got off to-night with the concealed messages. 

July 26. The three letters from the Tsung Li Yamen 
were, first, an invitation to the Ministers to telegraph to 
their Governments that we are l ' all well. ' ' They state that 
our Governments will be anxious for our welfare. These 
telegrams must be written in full, using no code, and must 
not describe the situation. Second, they advised the 
Ministers to go to Tientsin, and offered to escort them, 
as they were not sure that they could protect them in 
Peking. They are trying many ways to get us out of 
our fortified city. The third letter was about cable- 
grams. These letters were of little value. Later, the 
fortune-teller messenger returned, as he could not get 
beyond the Chinese soldiers' line. As yet, the messages 
are not on their way to Tientsin. It seems almost 
impossible to get any word to or from the outside 
world. We get rumors, but do not know how much 
to believe. 

I still visit the hospital twice or more each day I 
offered to nurse, but was told that I was doing my duty 
in my present capacity, and was asked to continue. I 
have nothing to do with the food for the hospital except 
to furnish from thirty to forty bottles of boiled, filtered 
water each day. Wang and the cook, under my super- 
vision, look faithfully to preparing and delivering this 
to the hospital. They never complain, and more trust- 
worthy servants I never saw. 



i44 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

July 27. Father Conger's birthday. Dear man! 
How we loved him! 

A man representing himself to be a Chinese soldier 
has, for a good cumshaw, been communicating with the 
Japanese. He reports the progress of our coming troops; 
says that they are fighting their way through a strong 
force of Chinese; that the Chinese are fortifying them- 
selves at Tungchow; and that forty thousand of their 
troops are to join them there, and have taken nine big 
guns with them. None of this may be true. 

This morning Captain Poole took us through the 
Hanlin College. This is one of the oldest, wealthiest, 
and most valuable educational institutions in all China. 
This compound contained one of the most valuable 
collections of treasures and records in Chinese history. 
Some of these dated back three thousand years. The 
Chinese themselves burned this wonderful college with 
its many beautiful buildings filled with China's choicest 
productions. The destruction of these treasures is not 
only a calamity to China, but to the whole world. It was 
set on fire June twenty-third by the Boxers. While 
visiting the ruins, I picked up fragments of books and 
tablets. It made me heartsick to see those valuable, 
finely wrought, well-preserved records of history, quanti- 
ties of them, trampled under foot. This college was 
twelve hundred years old. My visit to its ruins was a 
sad one. 

July 28. This morning the little beggar boy returned 
who was sent out as a messenger July fourth. He took 
a letter to Tientsin. He went as a beggar, which was his 
profession before the missionaries took him under their 
charge. On his way to Tientsin, he was captured by the 



RUINS OF LEGATIONS 145 

Boxers, and made to work for six days. His progress was 
interrupted, but the little fellow succeeded in reaching 
Tientsin with his message. He started on his return 
trip July twenty-second and met little opposition. I 
heard the boy tell his story, and I assure you it was of 
vital interest. He said that our troops had not yet 
started from Tientsin. The letter he brought to us is 
vague. There are nineteen hundred of our troops at 
Tientsin, and they are holding the city. More troops are 
coming. The letter did not indicate when they would 
start for Peking. 

Captain Myers is quite ill and is threatened with fever. 
He was moved to the hospital to-day, and we are anxious 
about him. Mr. Conger took us to the hotel and to the 
French and German Legations. The terrible wreck 
of these places is exasperating. The hotel-keeper and 
his wife have done much effective individual work at the 
hotel. They have turned what is left of it into grist-mills, 
stables, and storehouses, and remain there themselves. 
The upper story is a complete wreck. They have built 
a barricade of great strength across the street. We went 
from the hotel into the French Legation. Only a small 
corner of this Legation is held by our people ; the rest of 
it is in the hands of the Chinese; flames and mines have 
of late made it a sorry place. We then visited the Ger- 
man Legation. Some parts of it were beautiful, but 
other more exposed portions were literally demolished. 
We returned to our besieged home with much accumulated 
food for heart and mind. 

After our round of duties, we attended the religious 
services at the Russian chapel. The Russian Minister 
escorted us in. This was the first service of the Greek 



146 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

church I ever attended. The people stand throughout 
the services and seem very devout in their worship Al- 
though I knew not one word they uttered or sang, I 
caught much of the spirit of the occasion, and came away 
with one rich thought to enlarge upon. They use no 
musical instruments in their churches. There were 
about twenty singers in their choir. Before singing, the 
leader would give the key-note from which each one was 
to catch his higher or lower note. Each listened, looked 
strictly to the leader, and caught the harmonious key- 
note and all sang together in sweet harmony. Why do we 
not listen more diligently and attentively to catch the 
harmonious " key-note" of our Leader, our Lord and 
Master, and thus make our different tones one chorus of 
sweet harmony? 

Gifts of flour, water-melons, vegetables, and ice have 
come from Their Majesties. We are using all but the 
flour. This we are not going to use until it is badly 
needed, as we are warned against it. There are questions 
whether or not there could be a plot to poison us. Mr. 
Conger is still watchful day and night. He always visits 
the chapel and bell tower on his return from the Legation 
and freely gives what information he can. Many say 
to me, "Mr. Conger is a strong support to us all. His 
judgment we can trust, and his good cheer has power in 
it." He often says that we must not be impatient for 
troops to arrive, as there is much to be done to move a 
large army in a strange land fortified by the enemy. 

July 2Q. Mr. Nestergard, the insane man who 
escaped from us, has returned. He reports harsh treat- 
ment. We cannot tell what harm or good he has done us 
by his visit into the enemy's camp. He told Dr. Martin 



MESSAGE FROM TIENTSIN 147 

that he informed the Chinese of our situation in order to 
save his own life, and that he assured them that they fired 
too high to do us much damage. The Chinese are building 
their barricades higher so as to be able to fire down upon 
us. It makes much work for us, as our barricades must 
go up correspondingly high. A reward of five thousand 
dollars was offered to any man who would take a message 
to our coming troops and bring one back from them. 

The Chinese were seen building a barricade which 
would give them command of the canal to the city wall. 
The Italian big gun was fired at the builders. A reply 
came back and shot our gunner through the hand. With 
a glass, the Chinese fortifications can be seen from the 
second story of our office building. The " Chinese 
officer" reports to Japan's Colonel Shiba that our coming 
troops are really approaching Peking. He reports pro- 
gress from time to time for three hundred dollars each 
report. A messenger was despatched to the troops. The 
message was concealed under an old soiled plaster on his 
stomach. 

July 30. There are many rumors afloat. Ten 
thousand dollars is now offered by the Russian bank to 
any messenger who will take a message to our coming 
troops and bring an answer back to the Ministers. 

A letter from the Tsung Li Yamen suggests that we 
let the native Christians out into the city, and that they 
will be cared for by the Government. The Yamen does 
not wish to have us burdened. This sounds well, but we 
cannot trust these promises. 

August 1. Colonel Shiba received a message from 
Tientsin that on the twenty-sixth of July our troops had 
not yet started. 



148 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Mr. Conger took us upon the city wall. Without 
seeing it, no one can conceive what ingenious work has 
been put into the holding and strengthening of the posi- 
tion on that wall. It is marvellous! The deep ditches 
and high barricades silently give their protection. There 
are many loopholes through which our men can watch 
the manceuvrings of the enemy. These holes are not the 
safest places in our besieged quarters. There is a danger- 
ous one at the top of the ramp leading to the wall. For 
some time, our men could not detect the position of a 
troublesome sharpshooter. Finally they discovered a 
dark spot high up in a tree, and that spot at once fell. 

The messenger sent from the Japanese Legation 
returned, but would not answer any questions. He was 
in Tientsin three days after the letter was given to him to 
bring to Peking. He would not take pay for his services. 
What can this mean ? 

More calls for sand bags keep coming in. We made 
seventy to-day for the German Legation. The marines, 
watching continuously, are forbidden the privilege of doing 
anything aside from eating and sleeping when off duty. 
At midnight, when Mr. Conger and others were burying 
one of our American marines who had fallen in our de- 
fence upon the wall, a Russian marine was passing on his 
way to his rest. He halted, then stepped to the open 
grave, and jumped into it. With care, he removed every 
stone, and softened this marine's last resting place by 
pulverizing the soil. Those about him protested, as he 
needed sleep. But he said feelingly, "My brother on the 
wall," and continued his work of tenderness. He helped 
to lower his comrade into the grave, then smoothed the 
flag winding sheet, tucking it in gently at head and feet, 



TROOPS ON THE WAY 149 

while he continued to repeat, "My brother on the wall." 
This Russian marine did not leave that spot until a 
mound rose above the level earth. These brothers on the 
wall spoke no common language of the tongue, but they 
spoke the common language of the heart. 

We have just learned that two members of the Tsung 
Li Yamen have been beheaded; one was friendly to 
foreigners, and the other had been abroad. It seems that 
they are doing everything to weaken their own Govern- 
ment. They are evidently trying to cut down and out 
every person and thought that is foreign, but this is 
beyond their power. 

To-night we are under the greatest excitement. Mrs. 
Lowry received a letter from her husband at Tientsin, 
and she unselfishly read it to a gathering, anxious crowd. 
Five messages came to Mr. Conger, one to Captain 
Myers, one to Sir Robert Hart. All rejoice! Mr. Con- 
ger, Laura, and the staff went to work with a will to get 
the messages out of cipher. As fast as they were gotten 
out, they were given to the people at the bell tower. 
The troops must be on their way; ten thousand for ad- 
vance guard, and more to follow! Mr. Lowry is coming 
as interpreter. They had a terrific time in Tientsin, 
and had given up all hopes of seeing us alive. How we 
do rejoice to hear something, even though at the date of 
the messages the troops had not started from Tientsin. 
How we pray that no disaster will befall them! It is 
very late, but there will be little sleep to-night. 

August 4. More edicts have been translated, and 
strange ones too. 

The Ministers held a meeting to consider the Tsung 
Li Yamen's proposition of going to Tientsin. They let 



150 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

the matter of asking the Tsung Li Yamen for food go 
over to another time, as they think the request unwise 
until it is actually necessary. Our troops are too near 
to give the enemy any idea of our weakness. Another 
foreign Ministers' meeting was held this afternoon. 
These meetings to consider leaving Peking are to kill 
time, as the Ministers have no idea of going. All are 
sending despatches in cipher to their Governments 
through the Tsung Li Yamen. 

A Chinese soldier said to our men to-day. "Your 
troops half-way Peking. Had big fight. We dead; 
you live." Which meant to him that we were victorious. 

We are now under fire all day and all night. Our 
men are falling and our hospital is filling. Rumors of 
our troops are continually coming to us, and we weigh 
every word with eagerness. It is my constant prayer 
that my fear may not overcome my loyalty to my faith. 
These are testing days. A telegram came to Mr. Conger 
bearing the Consul's name at Canton, China. It is in 
Chinese code and Chinese politeness. It was a request 
to give a statement of the situation in Peking. Mr. 
Conger thinks it unwise to answer. The weather is 
fine, and is most remarkable for Peking at this season. 
The evening is beautiful. The locusts have silenced 
their shrill songs, and the Chinese have not commenced 
their threatening noise. This quiet is rest. 

August 6, Monday. The quiet of last night was 
broken at about two o'clock when the firing began in 
earnest and the battle was on. This was the hardest 
and fiercest since the night of July sixteenth. It lasted 
about thirty minutes. The bell in the tower rang 
furiously. All were on watch. 



WAITING FOR RELIEF 151 

A letter from the Tsung Li Yamen to-day stated that 
they regretted that the foreign troops started firing upon 
their troops and that a battle ensued. The facts are 
that our men did not start the firing. A Chinese barri- 
cade at the Fu began to fall, and it is thought that the 
Chinese took fright, supposing that the " foreign devils" 
were after them, and so began the conflict. The attack 
started at the Fu and extended around the whole line. 
Letters frequently pass between the Tsung Li Yamen and 
the foreign Ministers. After visiting the hospital, I went 
to see the American Legation. Wang and the coolies 
got some k'angs and boards, so that our beds are no longer 
on the damp floors. The fleas, flies, and mosquitoes are 
in swarms. We are trying to clean our house at the 
Legation somewhat so that we can move at once when 
our troops come, as the British will need their Legation. 
I have spent much of to-day in reading and writing. 

The horses are decreasing in number; our rations 
are getting less. However, we can hold out still longer. 
Mr. Conger was consulted again to-day in regard to 
asking the Chinese Government for food. He thinks 
it would be a great mistake to do this, as it would weaken 
our position in their sight. 

There was an auction to-day of things brought into 
the compound, and I sent Wang to get what our servants 
needed. We went the rounds of the British Legation. 
The work that has been done is wonderful. 



152 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Friend] 

British Legation, Peking, 
August 13, 1900. 

IT has been some time since I wrote to you, and it 
seems much longer than it has really been. I am now hav- 
ing a little more time to write, and not one moment has 
been lost. My thoughts have turned lovingly homeward. 
In my intense desire for its day to appear, I have almost 
seen the mind's wireless telegraphy. I often question 
why we so tyrannically limit our expression of thought. 

The black clouds of these days I shall not try to de- 
pict to you. May their darkness pass away and show a 
brighter sky. I will let my diary tell you just a few hap- 
penings that you may see a little of the situation before 
our allied troops arrive. They will come! 

August 8. Much firing during the night, but none 
of our brave men were brought to the hospital. An- 
other night, and we are still safe. This is the fiftieth 
day of the siege. Many have fallen, and forty are in the 
hospital. A communication from the Tsung Li Yamen 
informs us that Li Hung Chang has been appointed 
Plenipotentiary to consult with our Governments upon 
the situation. No word from nor of our coming troops. 
We hope and pray that our Governments will not, in 
believing that we are lost, do anything to retard or aban- 
don their coming. If they can only receive the cable- 
grams from their besieged Ministers, they will not. 

August p. Much firing in the night. There were 
several attacks, but none of our men were wounded. 
Most of the patients in the hospital are doing well. 
Captain Myers is very ill. Fine weather continues; 



MESSAGE FROM TROOPS 153 

it is not hot, nor is there too much rain. Great sanitary 
care is taken. Our food is getting low. Let us not lose 
trust now when we should have learned to have more 
trust. We have been miraculously saved many times 
during these past weeks. Dog meat has been served to 
the Chinese to-day. Heretofore, horse meat has been 
given to them. For the coolies at the Fu a food has 
been made of slippery elm leaves, grains, and a little 
meat and its broth. We are all told to serve short ra- 
tions. No messenger came to take messages to the 
Tsung Li Yamen. There has been considerable firing 
all day, but no battles. Sir Robert Hart brought me a 
poem written by himself, surely a choice gift in the siege. 
We look forward to his eleven o'clock visits with great 
pleasure. He never detains us in our work. 

August 10. No word from the allied forces. Where 
are they? Rumor says, "On the way." We cannot 
believe anything unless a messenger brings the word. 
A Frenchman was badly wounded yesterday. Captain 
Myers is getting better. 

Later. Messenger returned from troops! They are 
on their way! Coming, coming, "fifty thousand strong!" 
They may be here in three or four days. Let us rejoice 
and give thanks! 

Four despatches came to Mr. Conger. One was 
from the Department of State, doubting the authen- 
ticity of a cablegram they had received from him, and 
asking him to put in " sister's name." He answered 
"Alta." This sister lives in Washington. 

No trouble south of Chefoo. The Tsung Li Yamen 
was asked to open their markets to us. 

August 11. Am spending some of my time at the 



i54 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

American Legation, as it is quiet, and I am now writing 
at my own desk. There has been much firing to-day 
upon this Legation from the high tower on the wall. 
One ball went into the girls' room since I have been at 
my desk. I picked it up while warm and shall take it 
to them. No more word from the coming troops. Mr. 
Conger sent answers to his despatches through the 
Tsung Li Yamen. 

August 12. My dear mother's birthday. Blessed 
woman! She gave much sunshine to others, and the 
memory of her warm love tells us that the sunshine has 
not lost its glow. 

There was much firing during the night. One 
Frenchman was killed and one Austrian wounded. More 
firing to-day from every side. Last night the Germans 
were under heavy fire. To-day the big gun on the wall 
near the Hatamen boomed several times, and many shots 
came into the American Legation. Chinese soldiers 
are going out of the city. Can it be that they are going 
to meet our coming troops ? Two more Frenchmen have 
been killed, and a German and a Russian wounded. 
Thus our ranks grow less, and yet we do not lose heart. 

The Tsung Li Yamen asked an audience with the 
Ministers to consult upon terms of amnesty. Surely, we 
are at war only to save our lives. When they do not fire, 
all is quiet; we fire only when it seems very necessary. 
Rumor says that our troops are not far off. 

August 1 3. The most noisy night of all. One con- 
tinued battle! Every man is watchful, and there is little 
sleep. All positions have to be guarded, as we cannot 
tell what the Chinese are planning to do. The most 
quiet section may prove to be the most dangerous to us. 



A CHINESE SCHOLAR 155 

Not one of our men was wounded last night. Foreign 
Ministers were to meet members from the Tsung Li 
Yamen at eleven o'clock, but word came that they had 
not time to meet the Ministers to-day. They regretted 
that the foreign troops had fired on the Chinese, killing 
one officer and twenty-six men. We did not begin the 
attack, nor did we keep it up. 

The missionaries are looking well to the care of their 
Chinese girls. To-day we were taken through their 
quarters. These Chinese women and girls, guided by 
the missionaries, are helping in many ways. 

The other day I said to a scholarly Chinese, "Will 
you help to fill these sand bags?" He replied, " I am no 
coolie." Then I in turn said, "I am no coolie either, but 
we must all work here and now. I will hold the bag and 
you come and shovel the sand." I took a bag and a 
Russian- Greek priest stepped forward and filled it. He 
spoke no English and I no Russian, but we both under- 
stood the language of the situation. Other people rallied 
about us, and we soon stepped aside. Our work was 
finished. This scholarly Chinese was of the American 
Legation's staff helpers. As rank is so respected in 
China, and as the Chinese do not wish to degrade the 
ranks, this man, from his point of view, could not fill 
sand bags. Mr. Conger talked with him, saying, "Your 
life as well as ours is to be protected here, and you must 
do your part or we cannot feed you." The man was 
in hiding three days. As our coming troops did not come, 
and he was near to starvation, he came to the front, willing 
to do what he could. 



156 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Niece] 

British Legation, Peking, 
August 14., 1 goo. 

REJOICE! All nations rejoice and give thanks. 
Our coming troops are outside of the city wall. We can 
really hear them firing! What a happy family in this 
Legation! We are waiting, and have learned how to 
wait. And yet, we cry aloud, "They are here! Our 
coming troops! Rejoice! Rejoice!" Warm clasp of 
hands and eyes full of tears tell better the language of 
the heart than words. 

Mr. D. came over from the American Legation and 
told us the glad news at two o'clock this morning. Ex- 
citement runs high as we listen to the raging battles 
outside. We are trying to look our best to receive and 
welcome our brave rescuers. There are cannons, to our 
knowledge, stationed on the city wall and pointing east to 
fire on our approaching men. How we hope and pray 
that our brave men will succeed in getting into the city 
without bloodshed ! We are confident that they will come 
whatever the cost. 

During the entire night the firing upon us was more 
fierce, determined, and constant than at any time before. 
It seemed as though the enemy would break through our 
barricades and overwhelm us. Our people watched and 
used our treasured ammunition more freely than they had 
dared to use it before. Volley upon volley from the 
enemy's smaller guns was fired, and the big guns on the 
city wall and on the Imperial City wall boomed their 
deadly shells into our midst. Strange work, surely, after 
what the Tsung Li Yamen sent the foreign Ministers in a 



BRAVERY OF MARINES 157 

message last night, "We have ordered that no firing shall 
go from our men during the night," etc. This only shows 
their cruel treachery. It seemed that they wished to 
throw us off guard and destroy us. They knew that 
our allied troops were near the city wall. We have never 
been caught napping by their soothing words. 

During the night, men from the Imperial Customs, 
who know the Chinese language, heard the Chinese be- 
hind their barricades saying, " Don't be afraid. We can 
get in. Come on." Another said, " Impossible, we can't 
do it." They did not do it. Our rapid-firing guns, 
small arms, and " International " gun, guided by our 
brave men, did wonderful work. Our Colts Repeater 
stopped the firing from the Imperial City wall. All com- 
bined fought the enemy back with an effective will, but 
our brave gunner was badly wounded in firing the " Inter- 
national." It is a crazy little thing, and, at times, refuses 
to act well its part and often is most dangerous to its near- 
est neighbor. Our sympathies are with our gunner, who 
has been so faithful in his duties all through the siege. 
In fact, our marines as a body have been brave, faithful, 
and untiring from beginning to end. They have never 
faltered even when standing at the most dangerous post. 
The city wall is a testing-place, and they have fought 
most bravely there and elsewhere. Would that I could 
sing their true praises so loudly that the whole world could 
hear them, and so sweetly that "Well done" could be 
echoed back to them! 

The foreigners in our besieged city of Legations are 
thoroughly organized; each has his important part to 
perform; all recognize this and work accordingly. The 
foreign Ministers are at the head; they plan the steps 



iS8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

taken and are responsible for them. The staff members 
of the Legations, the young men students, the customs 
people, the missionaries, and other foreigners, are the 
executers. They form committees which are most efficient 
and harmonious in their workings. 

When Mr. Conger gave his answer to the missionary 
who asked what they should do with their native converts, 
he knew not how well he spoke. He said, " Bring them. 
I do not know how we can feed them, but they will surely 
lose their lives if they do not come.' , We should have been 
lost without them; they are our manual laborers. They 
work with a will, and do the part that no foreigner among 
us could do. As the Ministers have their Governments 
back of them, they can speak with recognized authority. 
With united thought, they watchfully and untiringly 
perform their responsible labors. All the Legation and 
customs people, missionaries, and other foreigners, assist 
their chiefs' work, either as volunteers or in committees. 
Better work was never done. There are superb organ- 
izers among the missionaries. They know the Chinese 
and their language, and have worked day and night with 
little bands of Chinese in building barricades and forti- 
fications, digging ditches, running grist-mills, looking 
after sanitary conditions, filling and carrying sand bags, 
in fact doing innumerable necessary things. As there 
were no foreign laborers in this siege, these Chinese 
Christians did the work that otherwise could not have 
been done, and without the missionary leaders they would 
have been unable to carry it to a success. The band of 
women have not fallen behind in bravery, endurance, 
good cheer, tenderness, and untiring work for the wounded 
and sick; nor have they failed in performing any duty 



SELF-SACRIFICING DEEDS 159 

that women can do. The best that men and women put 
into this siege will remain unwritten. 

I must tell you about our servants. Nine of them 
went into the siege with us. The rest fled. These 
servants are not all Christians; some are called " heathen,' ' 
but, in justice and truth, I must say that I never saw the 
Christ-spirit manifested more beautifully than these so- 
called heathen manifested it. Under most trying cir- 
cumstances, they were patient and watchful to do all that 
they could. Our head boy, Wang, is not a coolie, but he 
did coolie work and every other kind of work most at- 
tentively. Some day I will tell you in detail of the good 
deeds of our servants in these trying times. All servants 
were turned over for general work, except those positively 
needed by their masters. A record of each individual's 
self-sacrificing deeds would fill pages. To single out the 
few would be injustice to the many. Ofttimes, those 
greatest in good deeds are most shrinking in proclaim- 
ing them. The workers are too busy to question 
other people's actions. Differences of opinion yield in 
these days. The leading thought is not " Who shall be 
greatest?" 

We have been up and striving to work ever since two 
o'clock this morning. We are watchfully waiting and 
listening to the welcome firing of our brave, strong, allied 
troops in their sure coming. I try to write a while, then 
try to do something else in my waiting. You cannot 
know our feelings ! I am going to leave you now and — well 
— get Wang and begin to get ready to move home! 
When will our allied forces get through the city gates? 



160 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
August 19, igoo. 

ABOUT four o'clock in the afternoon of August four- 
teenth, the British-Indian troops entered the Tartar City 
through the Water Gate, and into the Legation they came 
amid the cheers and rejoicings of the besieged. Others 
followed, and the rejoicing increased. All of us wel- 
comed those British-Indian soldiers as heartily as though 
they had been of our own nationality. The allied army 
was our army. General Chaffee with his artillery and 
brave men opened the fortified gates. His army pressed 
forward, scaled the walls and, without faltering, was 
among the first in helping to thwart the enemy and to set 
the captives free. What a day! No one can tell it! 
We had been waiting, watching, listening, since two 
o'clock in the morning for the appearing of those broth- 
ers who were just outside the city walls. 

I attended to my allotted duties, then tried to write 
our glad tidings to our dear ones. I abandoned this 
effort, and began to move home! What a wonderful 
uplifting came with these words — "going home." Only 
think of it! We had a "home" to go to. The mass of 
our siege band had no door of their own opening for 
them. But I cannot write the intensity of that day. 

The allied troops have taken possession of the cities. 
These cities are divided into eight sections. Each of 
the eight armies is apportioned to one of these sections 
to govern as its very own. Our servants have all returned, 
and we have moved back to our dilapidated Legation 
home, cleaned it, and gathered up the fragments. Never 




Little Paul Wang 



"First Boy" Wang and His Family, Before the Siege 
Wang and His Three Children, Rescued After the Siege 



THE ALLIED TROOPS 161 

were people more thankful for a mansion than are we 
for this shelter. Our house is full to overflowing, and we 
give most grateful thanks that it can be so. Our first 
boy, Wang, is a general in helping us. He has a wife 
and four children, two boys and two girls. The eldest 
boy is in Tientsin. His wife and three children were 
out in the city during the siege, he knew not where. 
Their house was looted, then burned, and for seven weeks 
they have been wandering beggars. He could not hear 
one word of them. On the fourteenth, after the allied 
forces had come in, he came to me and said, " Madame, 
I go find my family." After a few hours, he came back 
happy, wife and children safe with him. The children 
were naked and the wife poorly covered. Their story is 
a sorrowful one. 

General Chaffee and the other American officers 
came at once to see us. General Chaffee warmly greeted 
us with tears in his eyes. "We heard the fierce firing 
last night," he said, "and knew that you were still alive. 
We pushed forward, but when the firing ceased for a 
time, we were sure that we were too late, that all was over, 
that you were massacred. The awful thought of defeat, 
of failure, came over me. But it was not defeat! " 

On the morning of the fifteenth, Mary and I went 
upon the wall and to the Ch'ienmen tower, where our men 
with artillery were firing from the wall upon the Forbid- 
den City. The yellow tile roofs quaked and three gates 
opened. Five of our brave men and Captain Riley fell. 
The sight of these guns bombarding the Forbidden City 
gates was wonderful to us. We were in a battle! But we 
were free and felt no fear with our own American soldiers. 
The work of the Chinese upon the wall was beyond our 



1 62 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

greatest conception. Barricade after barricade was strong- 
ly built and fortified the entire way to the Ch'ienmen 
tower. They were digging an underground channel to 
blow up our large barricade taken the morning of July 
third. A few days more and they would have finished 
their work. The sight on that wall and the city from it 
seems like a terrible nightmare. We see the city in ruins, 
all about us — ruin wrought by the Chinese themselves. 

I paid my usual visits to the hospital to see the 
wounded and sick. It is heartrending to see them suf- 
fering in bondage while we are free. Each Legation is 
preparing to take care of its own people, and thus relieve 
the British. 

The Ministers' hands are full. They are besieged 
with important work. Missionaries are actively striving 
to find quarters in which to gather their scattered con- 
verts. The missions are swept entirely away. Even 
the foundations have been taken up and carried off. 
The Chinese have striven to erase every landmark of 
the foreigner. 

The Imperial Court left the city through the north 
gate the morning of the fifteenth. The armies did not 
pursue. The American army took the Temple of Agri- 
culture for its headquarters, and the British the Temple 
of Heaven just opposite. Both temples are in the Na- 
tive City. The Peitang and its many people crowded 
together were not completely overcome. They fought 
an awful fight, and their story is horrible. We could 
hear nothing from them during the siege nor extend a 
helping hand. I visited the brave sisters and heard 
their sad, bitter story, and saw the fearful wrecks. I 
cannot write details now. 




Ch'ienmen Tower 
The Great Temple for Imperial Worship, in Temple of Heaven 



FOREIGNERS IN CONTROL 163 

On August sixteenth, some of the missionaries in- 
vited me to go with them to a large palace that they 
thought of renting if possible, for their mission work. 
I was delighted to have the opportunity to enter one of 
these Chinese palaces. We were shown through the 
many buildings, courts, and gardens. We came to one 
building where there were three coffins. We were told 
that the Chinese ladies were greatly terrified by the actions 
of the Boxers and Chinese soldiers, and when the for- 
eign soldiers entered the city, they thought the most 
horrible doom was theirs. Many committed suicide, 
and, in this palace, four Princesses jumped into an open 
well. Three were drowned; one was taken out alive. 
The intense sufferings, sorrows, and sacrifices befalling 
these people no words can depict. They secretly tell 
their story and help to color the stream of time. 

I have been too busy to write a connected letter. A 
strange panorama with new and almost impossible scenes 
is rapidly passing into our lives. Each hour is filled with 
awful nightmares, and I cannot see how we are to awake 
from them. 

[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
August 20, 1 goo. 
WHAT a tangled wilderness of ideas! What a con- 
glomeration! Will law and order ever come out of it? 
What an unheard-of situation! There are eight foreign 
armies established in the very capital of China. The 
Emperor, Empress Dowager, Empress, and their Court 
have left all and fled to parts unknown. China is with- 
out her ruling head. 



i6 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Mr. Conger and I took a ride on the wall around the 
Tartar City. We ascended the ramp at the Ch'ienmen 
and remained on the wall its entire length, fifteen miles, 
to the Hatamen. The sights were horrible. The best 
parts of the Native City and large tracts of the Tartar 
City are in ruins. The streets and homes are deserted. 
Not a Chinaman was to be seen except as he wore the 
colors of some one of the foreign nations. The shops 
with their treasures were abandoned by their owners. 
The Boxers first, and then the Chinese soldiers, took what 
they wished, and the foreign soldiers culled from the re- 
mains. From the wall we could see outside as well as 
inside of the city. The British cemetery is totally de- 
stroyed. The monuments are broken down, the graves 
opened, the wall is carried away, the chapel is burned, 
and the large trees planted by the British are sawed off 
level with the ground and carried away. Trees of 
native planting remained everywhere untouched; those 
of foreign planting were destroyed. By courtesy of the 
British, Americans were buried in this cemetery. Calm 
reigned everywhere. Where had that awful tumult 
gone — and the people who made it ? 

Many countries here represented recognize spoils of 
war. Our Government does not. It claims that it was 
not warring upon China; that it sent its armies to re- 
lieve and protect the besieged foreigners in North China. 
Our Government has issued strict orders against all 
looting. 

Our house is full of people; we have sixteen or eigh- 
teen at the table each meal. The American officers we 
also welcome to our home. Our gratitude to them for 
their long forced marches, their sufferings and sacrifices 



RUINS OF THE PEITANG 165 

made to relieve our direful situation, is unbounded. The 
first convoy of foreigners, forty in number, left this morn- 
ing for Tientsin. All started from the American Legation. 
There is a telegraph line between Peking and Tientsin 
established by British and American armies. It is often 
cut, but is soon repaired and in constant use. The office 
is here in our Legation. All the eight armies work har- 
moniously together; but, when in foreign countries, the 
British and Americans are considered almost as one 
people. We often hear it said, "You think alike, you 
speak alike, and you act alike, " 

Many Chinese are coming to Mr. Conger for protec- 
tion and assistance. He never turns them away without 
hearing their story and helping them if he can. A little 
paper from him often protects their goods and provisions 
from confiscation and enables the owner to sell them. 
Every foreigner in trouble is turned over to his own 
countrymen, but the Chinese have no one to whom they 
can appeal. 

August 23. German troops came to-day, also more 
American cavalry, numbering about three hundred. 
These Germans and this cavalry did not reach Tientsin 
in time to join the allied forces in their march to Peking. 

August 24.. You see, I am writing just a little as I 
find time. Mr. Conger has his hands more than full. 
General Chaffee ordered his large four-mule ambulance 
and an escort of twenty-four cavalrymen, and took 
Laura, Mary, and me to the Peitang, through the Im- 
perial City, and to Coal Hill. At the Peitang, we were 
graciously received. The sisters and helpers showed us 
through the grounds and buildings. The whole mission 
is a terrible wreck. Its condition cannot be truthfully 



166 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

described. Five mines were planted and fired under them. 
The first was immense; it blew up and buried seventy 
children, killing them all. The others caused great 
damage and loss of life. Not any of the sisters were 
injured, although the house they occupied was destroyed 
by shells and mines. The French and Italian Legations 
sent guards to help protect the Peitang at the beginning 
of the siege. There is not one room in the whole com- 
pound that is not injured ; and, with one or two exceptions, 
they are not fit to occupy. Thousands of bullet holes are 
in the fine windows of the beautiful cathedral, and shells 
show their marks everywhere. The large organ is shot 
through and through. During the siege this cathedral 
was a shelter for hundreds of homeless Chinese, and 
many still take refuge here. Their food got very low and 
their suffering was great. Our hearts went out to them 
from the British Legation and we tried to send messages, 
but we never succeeded. 

Monsieur Favier said to us, "The first flag I saw with 
my telescope was the American flag." He stood the 
siege like a hero, and the sisters were true heroines. The 
Sister Superior was buried yesterday. She did not fall 
until her siege work was finished. Sister Angel was kind 
to us, and so were the others. We left our good wishes 
with these brave people and drove into the Imperial 
City and up to Coal Hill and the first pagoda. We 
walked to the other two pagodas. The view was fine 
from this height. It was our first visit to this hitherto 
forbidden spot. 

Congratulatory cablegrams and telegrams from many 
parts of the world are bringing their rich messages. Our 



DESPATCH FROM PRESIDENT 167 

President McKinley, in the fulness and broadness of his 
big heart, sends the following: 

?' Washington. 
"Conger, American Minister, 

Peking. 
"The whole American people rejoice over your deliverance; 
over the safety of your companions; of our own and of the 
other nations which have snared your trials and privations; 
the fortitude and courage which you have all maintained, and 
the heroism of your little band of defenders. We all mourn 
for those who have fallen, and acknowledge the goodness of 
God, which has preserved you and guided the brave army that 
set you free. William McKinley." 



[To a Sister] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
September 13, igoo. 

STRANGE things happen here. The encouraging 
and discouraging events follow one another so closely that 
they almost seem to go hand in hand. There are some 
awful things happening as the fruits of war. Armies 
bring not only blood stains, but heart stains. 

Dr. Leonard has just been in. She brings most 
horrible word from Paoting Fu. All missionaries there 
and in that locality have been most cruelly persecuted and 
massacred, as have also native Christians and others who 
have shown friendship for the foreigners. Most heart- 
rending reports are coming in from different quarters. 
We fear that not the half has been told. What can it all 
mean? I cannot believe that all this unselfish, steadfast, 
sacrificing work of love in China can be for naught. It 
may be that these unheard-of, undreamed-of cruelties 



i68 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

will revolutionize mission work here and at home. The 
deep thinkers for right and for the spread of "love to 
God and good will toward men" will work as never before 
to solve the question of Christian duty. 

The awful treachery and base cruelty of the Chinese 
high officials and the people governed by them are with- 
out a parallel. Can we ever forgive and forget? The 
Christ-spirit alone can help us. What is it in the mortal 
that gets so angry, so revengeful, so furious, as to want to 
torment, to kill, to destroy? The Chinese in this fired 
consciousness have made most costly sacrifices. There 
was no method in their madness. In their frantic raids 
upon us, our watchful, well-organized men would pour 
such volleys into their midst that they would be obliged 
to retreat, or every man of them fall. Our brave men! 
How they did watch and work, day and night, every hour, 
and every moment of the hour! The raging tempest was 
terrifying, but God smiled even amid the frowns and 
storms of men. Through our watchful trust, we saw those 
smiles. Frown for frown will never clear the atmosphere. 
It is the good will and the love-thought rising above it all 
that enables us to see the clear sky. We did watch, pray, 
and trust, and in that awful darkness we did feel, even 
though we could not see, God's hand guiding us. 

I am sometimes asked, "During the siege, who did the 
best work? — what nation?" Those in that awful 
siege knew no nationality. We were one people. The 
allied army coming to us was "our army." It was truly 
welcomed as "our army" — "our rescuers" — on that 
blessed morn. Gratitude to the dear Father barred the 
door against the wrangling, "Who shall be greatest?" 
All did the best they could, and that siege brought under 



TEMPLE OF HEAVEN 169 

one heart-beat the nations of the world. That heart-beat 
had enough of the flowing Christ-blood to keep it alive. 
Thought was focussed on China in those dark days, and 
jewelled blessings of loving prayers for the besieged were 
not lost. They sparkled with us. 

Prince Ch'ing fled with the Imperial Court, but re- 
turned to-day and went to his palace, which is protected 
by soldiers ; but the whole city about him is in ruins. The 
Emperor, Empress Dowager, Empress, and their Court, 
are still in hiding. Li Hung Chang is on his way to 
Tientsin. There are about fifty thousand foreign troops 
here now, and still they come. 

September 4. The Russian Minister has been ordered 
by his Government to move his Legation to Tientsin. 
It is published that a reward of fifteen dollars, and twenty 
dollars, and fifty dollars, is offered by the viceroy of this 
Province for the heads of foreigners. Prince Ch'ing is 
with Sir Robert Hart to-day. 

Foreigners can enter many places in Peking that have 
heretofore been locked and barred against them. One 
of these places, the Temple of Heaven, we have visited. 
Can it be that I have really entered that forbidden spot 
which I have viewed from afar and longed to enter? It 
is imperial in its grandeur. There are three beautiful 
temple buildings, besides buildings and furnaces for burnt 
offerings, and many Imperial buildings which the Emperor, 
his Court, and escorts occupy when there. The largest 
and finest of these temple buildings is for the " Ruler of 
the Universe." The Emperor of China, the "Son of 
Heaven," bows at this shrine and offers many burnt 
offerings. The Emperor has forsaken his god at this 
temple and fled far away. The vast Imperial grounds 



iyo LETTERS FROM CHINA 

of the Temple of Heaven are headquarters for the British 
army. Through the kindness of the British officers, we 
have been permitted to visit every part of this beautiful 
temple. The buildings for preparing the burnt offerings 
and furnaces for consuming them add another strange open 
book, explaining Bible days. The Temple of Heaven is 
wonderful in its magnitude, extreme beauty, and extrava- 
gant richness. I am now permitted to wander through 
these grounds and buildings at my will. Sacrilegious, 
you say ? We will not contend. The Temple of Agricul- 
ture is headquarters for the American army. Our home 
people have made this — China's holy place — very 
familiar to us. 

The city is a strange sight, changed as it is by the 
events of the past year. It is under foreign military rule, 
forsaken by the natives, and ruined. The armies sweep 
the streets clean. 

The British Legation is a sorry sight. It was a home 
for many during those trying days, and thousands of sand 
bags were filled from its gardens. All the unnecessary 
walls were pulled down, and brick walks were torn up, 
for barricades. Lady MacDonald was a most kind 
hostess and all her Legation people fell in line to help her. 
Grateful hearts sing their praises. 

September 10. The bugle calls are sounding night 
and day. While we rejoice in their stirring melody, 
they bring to mind a strain of sadness. General Chaf- 
fee says that he has a band out from Tientsin, and he 
hopes that it will give us pleasure. With a permit from 
General Chaffee, officers took Laura, Mary, and me 
through the Forbidden City. The real Forbidden City! 
These officers ordered opened many buildings and pri- 




Bronzes in the Forbidden City 



THE FORBIDDEN CITY 171 

vate rooms of the Emperor, Empress Dowager, and 
Empress, and we passed through them. We saw many 
elegant furnishings of the Court; jades, porcelains, 
brass, ivory, lacquer, bronze, wood carving, immense 
mirrors, brilliant decorations, embroidered hangings, 
fine large rugs, and objects of beauty that I cannot name. 
These are collections of the most precious Chinese 
treasures. New scenes opened our eyes in great sur- 
prise. Large, gorgeously decorated throne buildings, 
with their costly thrones, and many other buildings with 
their beautiful, valuable treasures, were opened to us. 
Their Majesties, their Court, and their high officials 
had never before even suggested to the foreigners that 
China had such wealth stored from view behind her high 
walls. The Japanese and Americans are protecting 
these treasures from vandalism. The front entrance 
to the Forbidden City is through many gates to the 
south. All the important buildings face the south. 
The bronze urns, incense burners, caldrons, deer, storks, 
dragons, and other ornaments in the Palace courts, are 
exquisitely fine. Not a thing was molested in these halls, 
private buildings, or grounds. Beautiful things were 
standing around, holding their proper places. 

For some reason the Chinese are opening their shops 
in the Japanese quarters and not in the other parts of 
the city. Many are even moving back and placing 
themselves under the protection of the Japanese. When 
Mr. Conger and I rode on the city wall around the 
Tartar City, we saw much of the destruction by Boxers, 
Chinese soldiers, and foreign troops. The Chinese 
made great preparation during the siege to fortify the 
west and north against successful invasion. Many 



172 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

large cannon and smaller guns were in position on this 
part of the city wall. When the foreign troops came in 
at the east, the Chinese troops fled and left all. The 
Chinese had made little preparation against attacks from 
the east, hence the slight resistance, except to the north- 
east, where the Japanese entered. To the west and north 
are the gates nearest the Imperial City through which 
the Emperor, Empress Dowager, Empress, and their 
Court departed on the morning of August fifteenth. 
They left in a simple way, using Peking carts and ponies. 
The soldiers on the wall ran, leaving their many big guns, 
their small arms, swords, flags, clothing — everything. 
Their tents were still standing, and under them were 
their brick k'angs with arrangements for building fires 
beneath. It is midsummer. Can it be that they thought 
of keeping us in confinement until the cold of winter was 
upon us? The teapots and cups were standing on 
stools and k'angs, just as though they were using them 
when the danger alarm was sounded. 

The Observatory and Examination Halls have not 
been destroyed. These astronomical instruments have 
stood in their stately glory through the flashing, thun- 
dering, pouring, and almost tornado storms of four 
centuries. It would seem cruel for anything to move 
them from their sentinel watch. As we came to this 
spot, so dear to me, we dismounted and climbed up to 
these instruments. They stood so high and proud on 
the east wall that our allied forces made a target of them, 
but only a few shot and shell left their awful marks. 
These fine old instruments, standing above and below, 
show no wear of time, although centuries have passed 
over them. They are like China herself; and if let alone 



DEARTH OF SUPPLIES 173 

they will stand upon their dragon thrones for centuries 
to come. 

[To a Niece] 

American Legation, Peking, 
September 28, igoo. 

THINGS seem uncertain here. The Autumn is pass- 
ing and the Winter is fast coming on with its bars of ice 
shutting the doors to the outer world. The five thou- 
sand camels with loads of coal are not coming into the 
city daily, nor even at all, as they formerly came. The 
question of fuel for the winter is a serious one. Neces- 
sities bring high prices now, and what they will bring 
before the Winter is over can only be guessed. You 
cannot conceive how difficult it is to obtain things to 
eat, to wear, to furnish our empty homes comfortably. 
Everything went from our homes into the general fund 
during those darkest days, and it is difficult to replace 
even the things most needed. General Chaffee received 
orders not to get over thirty days' supplies. It looks as 
though we might be ordered from here before the Winter 
opens. 

The Russian Minister with his Legation has not yet 
left for Tientsin. He is waiting further orders. The 
German Legation is ordered to leave with the other Lega- 
tions. No one seems to be moving. It must be that the 
powers are consulting in regard to the situation. There 
is much guessing, but nothing known. We are packed 
and ready to move on short notice. 

September 16. A party of British and Americans 
went out to-day on an expedition to the Western Hills 
and other parts, to scatter the Boxers who are said to be 



i74 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

rallying at those points. They took cavalry, infantry, and 
artillery, and expect to be gone about four days. 

September ij. Dr. Morrison returned from the West- 
ern Hills and reports that the temples were taken. They 
routed about six hundred Boxers without resistance. 
The Boxers left carts, mules, guns, swords, spears, am- 
munition, clothes — everything, as they were taken by 
surprise. 

September 18. Part of the expedition to the West- 
ern Hills has returned. The British remained, as they 
wished to burn the temples. Our General Wilson would 
not listen to the proposition of destruction ; he consented 
only to the capture of arms and ammunition. We expect 
to hear of the temples in ruins. 

September 23. Mr. Conger and I took a long walk 
to see the effects of the siege upon the surroundings 
beyond our own fortifications. The Chinese had built 
barricade after barricade. Why did they fear us ? Their 
fears and superstitions evidently kept them from coming 
right in upon us. We saw the places where they planted 
their big guns. They made great preparation, then 
failed to use the results of their labors. The platforms 
built inside the Imperial City wall for their cannon were 
wonderfully large and strong, and yet our firing into their 
portholes made their gunners flee and stopped the can- 
nons' mouths. 

We visited the Imperial carriage park and elephant 
stables, which are now occupied by the British. The 
chariots and chairs are extremely gorgeous and massive. 
The gold, silver, embroidered yellow satin, yellow silks, 
and brilliantly decorated elephant trappings are simply 
beyond description. Seventy-five years ago these chariots 



CHANGE AMONG DIPLOMATS 175 

were drawn by elephants with the richest of decorations. 
The chairs were carried by many men. The stables are 
large buildings, with yellow tiled roofs and other Imperial 
ornamental colorings. 

Some people feel very revengeful and cry out against 
showing mercy to the Chinese. They say, "Burn every 
town and village !" This seems like an "eye for an eye 
and a tooth for a tooth." We should not sting ourselves 
with our own malice; we should pluck it out and cast it 
away. It is true, the cruelty of the Chinese toward the 
foreigners has been extreme, but the Chinese wish to be 
let alone in their own land. When will this dark cloud 
scatter and let in the bright sunshine, so that we may see 
the outcome? 

We learn that Sir Claude MacDonald is to go to 
Japan; that Sir Ernest Satow is to come here. We 
deeply regret losing Sir Claude and Lady MacDonald. 

Li Hung Chang is still in Tientsin; rumors say that 
he is detained there by one of the foreign Governments. 

September 28. It looks as though our Government 
were expecting its Minister to remain here in Peking. 
We are all packed to go at once, if necessary. Four of 
the Governments, Russia, Germany, France, and Hol- 
land, have ordered their Ministers to leave Peking. 

A cablegram received to-day orders our marines and 
the Fourteenth Infantry from Peking to Manila. 

Our awful experiences have taught us how to be 
thankful, and we give thanks that we have this home, 
bare as it is, for ourselves and for others. You may not 
hear from us often, as our every moment is full. 



176 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Niece] 

American Legation, Peking, 
September 30, 1900. 

THE siege is raised and we are energetically free. 
While we rejoice over our freedom, we are not unmindful 
of the price paid for it. Many lives were most cruelly 
sacrificed, and we sorrowfully lament. The allied armies 
are here and occupy not only the city but the surround- 
ing country. 

I am not going to write the things that you learn from 
other sources, but mostly those things that have come into 
my personal experience. I am improving the oppor- 
tunities to visit and learn about the hitherto forbidden 
places. Poor China! Why cannot foreigners let her 
alone with her own? China has been wronged, and in 
her desperation she has striven as best she could to stop 
the inroads, and to blot out those already made. My 
sympathy is with China. A very unpopular thing to say, 
but it is an honest conviction, honestly uttered. Even the 
Chinese soldier was true to his gods. On the city wall 
we saw standing many shrines, simple and small, yet 
complete in detail. 

Mr. Conger and I visited the Red Cross hospital, which 
is under the auspices of the Russians. The locality and 
entire compound are very desirable. The buildings are 
new, large, and comfortable, and are owned by a wealthy 
Manchu. We went from here to the Tsung Li Yamen. 
Here we sat around the table where the Chinese officials 
received the foreign Ministers in consultation, and where 
it was arranged to massacre all the foreign Ministers on 
June twentieth, when they should meet in session on that 



RUIN AND LOOT 177 

day. The enraged mob could not wait, and Baron von 
Ketteler was sacrificed; the others were saved. 

We were shown through the different buildings and 
on into the Imperial College. Everything is in ruins. 
Dr. Martin has been the respected foreign President of 
this college for twenty-nine years. It is sad indeed to see 
so much destruction of what was the pride of this long- 
lived nation. These time-honored treasures and native 
productions were not only of value to China, but to the 
whole world, and the whole world will mourn their loss. 
China did worse than she knew. 



[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
November 16, igoo. 

THERE is no Chinese Government here to hold the 
Chinese or the foreigner to law and order. The Throne is 
empty. Every nation represented here is standing on its 
honor. Each one is acting for itself, and no other nation 
can say, "Hold"; "Stop"; "Going too far." One of 
the most heartrending acts to me is the removing and 
carrying away of the exquisite bronze instruments at the 
Peking Observatory. These old, historic treasures were 
more than valuable and beautiful. They have stood on 
their sentinel watch between four hundred and five hun 
dred years. They belong to China and can never act as 
honorable and beautiful a part elsewhere. The venerable 
Examination Halls are in complete ruin. Our Govern- 
ment has given strict orders against looting; it recognizes 
no spoils of war. 

The Chinese Court has not yet returned, and it is in 



178 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

such bondage that it cannot soon return. The Joint Note 
and the detailed Protocol must be completed before their 
safe coming can be assured. The foreign Ministers and 
their Governments are faithfully working to bring about 
/ a peaceful settlement. 

The siege and what has since followed have given the 
nations knowledge of one another far beyond what 
written history can ever record. A common sorrow 
united them with a common interest unknown before, 
and an influence has gone out that is golden. The united 
prayers of all nations and creeds were with us in those 
awful days; and we, through love, saw love's protecting 
care. What war means I can now comprehend. It is 
selfish, destructive, cruel. 

Yesterday a full, rich American mail came to us. How 
we feasted at love's beautiful table! Letters, letters, 
letters! How could the pouch hold so much treasure? 
These letters are real feasts to us, even when they come, 
as many do, from those we have never seen. 



[To a Friend] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
November 24, 1900. 

I CANNOT tell you the amount of good cheer your 
short letter brought me, and the intense gratitude that 
goes back to you. Your letter tells a wonderful story. 

Prayers, rich and earnest, during the awful siege, went 
up in one devout petition for the safety of the foreigners 
in North China. We caught the sweet answer and saw 
God's hand in power to save and protect. It seemed so 
near that fear fled, and trust was enthroned. Those dark 



GOOD FEELING MANIFESTED 179 

days of terrifying storms are gone now. When in that 
deafening din and narrow confinement I thought of Daniel 
in the lions' den, and earnestly prayed that each of us 
might be a Daniel and overcome the raging elements about 
us. We all worked, did our best with what we had, but 
Love's hand saved us. The world will never know what 
that siege cost, nor how that cost will bless humanity. 
The Christian world did its loving work and carried its 
rich life blood with it. I often question why a siege must 
still rage against us; why the home press fires its cartridges 
at us. Mr. Conger often says to me, " Never mind; we 
have no time to fear them, or strive to dodge them. We 
have important work to do. ' Truth will out,' sometime." 
I never saw any one put away falsehoods so completely, 
and march right on, as he does. This attitude saves him. 
He knows what he has done, and what he is now trying to 
do. There are persecutions akin to persecutions of the 
physical body; these are persecutions of character with 
malicious intent to kill — the latter are more dastardly 
than the former. 

The foreign Ministers are faithfully at work striving 
to formulate a peace document to present to Prince Ch'ing 
and Viceroy Li Hung Chang. These two strong men 
represent the Chinese Empire here. Each foreign nation 
has its individual interests differing from those of other 
nations, and each also has its individual methods of work- 
ing; hence the progress is slow and most difficult. The 
nations are coming nearer together in sympathy and in 
thought, than ever before, and they cannot now afford to 
encourage the Chinese by dissensions among themselves; 
they must stand as a unit. They manifest remarkably 
good feeling. May the Hand of Right guide them, bless- 



i8o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

ing all humanity. Mr. Conger's heart is in his work, and 
his mind is free from the thought of revenge. He receives 
from his home Government rich encouragement for his 
successful work. 

We are exceedingly grateful for our home, which was 
marvellously saved from the flames and from man's raging 
storms. But no one can imagine how difficult it is to get 
things to eat and things to make us comfortable ; let alone 
the things to beautify and make our homes attractive. 

[To a Friend] 

American Legation, Peking, 
November 25, 1900. 

I TRULY appreciate your letter, for well do I know 
that your time is full of the many important duties of your 
work. That you deem it one of your pleasures to write to 
Peking, makes me very grateful. Ever since August 14 
we have been receiving from both continents multiplied 
messages from loved ones, from old and new heart-friends, 
and from friends whom we have never seen. God alone 
opened the door for these rich messages to enter. 

The hours of testing, perplexing work have not by 
any means passed. The siege was a bomb that burst 
into the whole world, and most trying times are upon us. 
Let us hold fast and pray as never before that patience, 
forbearance, good will, charity, wisdom, understanding, 
and love may do their good work and bring about a just 
settlement, with its stability in Right. The nations are 
in many ways doing wonders; may these wonders multi- 
ply and scatter the dark clouds that cast their dense 
shadows. 



CHINA AND THE NATIONS 181 

With a better understanding than ever before the 
world is battling for right, and it must not halt; now is 
the mighty hour, even though discouragements come 
thick and fast. Falsehoods come in from many quarters 
and have a tendency to place far in the future the settle- 
ment between China and the nations. But through all the 
bright sun is still shining, the clouds come and go, and the 
eleven Ministers stand together. They are exercising 
great patience and are giving diligent labor to the form- 
ulating of a document of reconciliation. Something is 
being accomplished and the Governments are giving 
their Ministers patient assistance. Our Government 
gives Mr. Conger much encouragement and freedom of 
action; this makes him cautious and watchful. Presi- 
dent McKinley and Mr. Conger were stanch friends as 
colleagues in Congress, and that friendship has never 
lost its life but has grown into broader branchings. The 
expressions of trust and encouragement received from 
Secretary Hay — diplomat, statesman, nobleman, and 
true friend — have been strength to Mr. Conger. The 
foreign Ministers in Peking are workers. I am so sit- 
uated as to know much of their quiet work. There was 
no moment for them to stop their labors before the siege^ 
during the siege, nor is there now. These eleven Min- 
isters are compelled to be patient, cautious, and diplomatic 
in their intercourse with one another, in order to clear the 
rocks and sail harmoniously together. 

The Emperor, Empress Dowager, and their Court will 
not return to Peking this Winter; apparently they cannot. 
Prince Ch'ing and Li Hung Chang are authorized to 
negotiate with the nations. 



1 82 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Nephew] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
December 12, 1900. 

HOW time does hurry to increase the number of days 
behind us, and how many pages of history is it storing! 

We are becoming well acquainted with the American 
and British officers, and they add much to our pleasure. 
The girls are on their ponies nearly every day and are 
truly thankful that they did not leave Peking directly 
after the siege was raised. The horrors of the siege have 
been allayed by the bright joys of the past two months. 
General Chaffee and the other officers are always thought- 
ful of our comfort and are continuously adding to our 
pleasure. 

On the tenth of October Li Hung Chang arrived in 
Peking. This encouraged decisive diplomatic work. 
After a short stay in Tientsin the Russian Minister, with 
his Legation, was ordered by his Government to return 
to Peking. None of the other powers left Peking. The 
Fourteenth American Infantry left Peking for Manila 
with marked formality. All parts of our army here united 
in escorting this regiment out of the city. Mr. Conger and 
a British General led the escort. These men, with the 
allied forces, came to our relief on August 14. Through 
rain and heat, dust and high grain, forced marches and 
severe firing, they marched on and on to the very walls of 
Peking. These walls they scaled ; they opened the barred 
gates, and with other armies moved on through them; 
they passed under the Water Gate, on into the British 
Legation and rescued the besieged. They are heroes. 
May they march on in safety to other glories. Our 



CRUELTIES TO CHRISTIANS 183 

sincere gratitude, fond remembrance, and earnest prayers 
go with them. Few comprehend the depth of feeling 
that the rescued holds toward the rescuer. 

There are most heartrending accounts coming to us 
of the fate of the missionaries in Paoting Fu and other 
parts of the interior. When the enraged brute propensi- 
ties dominate man's intelligence, they make a hell of suffer- 
ing. In some instances the Boxers took these Christian 
martyrs and tied one foot to one hand, hung them on a 
pole, and two men carried them about. At times they 
would tie their two feet and their two hands together 
and men would carry them hanging on a pole. One set 
of Boxers under orders to kill, would take them a long 
distance, then tell them, "We have orders to kill you, but 
we can't do it. We will let you go and look out for your- 
selves." Soon another set of Boxers would overtake 
them; then followed more travel and persecution. Others 
were disgracefully and cruelly treated, then slashed and 
beheaded with shameful ceremonies of savagery. Some 
were fastened in their homes, then the buildings were set 
on fire. No one was allowed to escape from the con- 
suming flames. These are only illustrations of the most 
horrible treatment given the foreign Christians. 

The native converts received, if possible, even worse 
treatment. An illustration of the superstitious fear of the 
Boxers is shown in the case of a child of four years. 
Little Paul Wang, a child of one of the native Christians, 
had two sword wounds, one spear wound, and was thrown 
into the fire three times. He manifested such tenacity 
of life that the leading Boxers bowed to him, and turned 
him over to the village elders, saying that Buddha was 
protecting him. Is it strange that human indignation 



i8 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

cries out in its agony for bloodshed in return for these 
horrible outrages? But the Christian heart knows that 
the eternal, immutable law of justice prevails. " Venge- 
ance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord." But, oh, 
how our hearts ache! 

An expedition of English, French, German, and Amer- 
ican officers went into the interior to Paoting Fu and other 
places to rout and destroy the Boxers. No guns were 
fired. One large army of Chinese soldiers saw our 
foreign troops coming, and did not attempt to fight. 
They said, "We will neither fight nor run," and they did 
not. It is not the policy of the allied forces to take 
prisoners, as they cannot care for them. No one was 
harmed and peace reigned. 

Just as soon as possible after the siege was raised, the 
hospital in the British Legation was removed, and each 
nationality took its own sick and wounded. Then Mr. 
and Mrs. Bainbridge, of the American Legation, gave 
up their bright, airy drawing-room to Captain Myers and 
Dr. Lippet, as a hospital, and crowded themselves into 
very small quarters, as much of their building was badly 
shattered by shot and shell. This was quietly done, 
without one word in regard to discomfort; they never 
tell of their sacrifices, nor of their good deeds. Two 
lady physicians, Dr. Leonard and Dr. Mackey, turned 
nurses and devotedly cared for Captain Myers and Dr. 
Lippet. 

For cheir rescue and protection, the Christian Chinese 
are showing their gratitude to the foreign Ministers and 
army generals in unique and impressive ways. These 
expressions are very different from those that other nation- 
alities would give. The banners they leave I will take 



HONOR TO NATIONAL AIRS 185 

home with me; but the well-dressed, bright-looking 
bearers with their grateful sayings, and the long proces- 
sion of men with banners, decorated palanquins, and 
tables loaded with ornamented trays of fruits, cakes, nuts, 
and sweets, and the impressive ceremonies of these oc- 
casions, I can only carry in living mind-pictures. Some 
day I will try to tell you of them. 

On the eighth we were invited out to the American 
camp at the Temple of Agriculture, to witness a flag rais- 
ing and to tiffin with General Chaffee and other officers. 
The infantry formed on the east of the large open marble 
altar; the cavalry, mounted, on the south; the artillery 
on the west, and the band on the north, with the officers 
who were conducting the ceremonies. At twelve o'clock 
the band began to play "The Star-Spangled Banner." 
Every one was on his feet, heads were uncovered, and the 
flag began to rise. Up, up, up, it steadily and slowly 
went, and when the last note sounded, it was at the top. 
Thrilling cheers greeted it in its triumphant waving. 
Many nations have great respect for their national airs, 
and will always rise to their feet and with bared heads 
stand while they are being played or sung. There is no 
nation that should have the united respect of its people 
more than the United States of America. Why should 
not one and all of us — men, women, and children — 
rise to our feet at the first sounded note of our national 
air, thus showing respect due our great country? The 
other day two Russian soldiers entered a well-to-do 
Chinese home and went through it, looting, and insulting 
the women and children. The husband and father pro- 
tested, but to no account. Finally, he brought out a 
piccolo and began to play the Russian national air. 



1 86 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The two men dropped all of their loot, stopped their 
bad behavior, and became men of honor. They stood 
erect and silent before this musician and listened to his 
sweet music. When the last note was sounded, they 
saluted and passed out into the street empty-handed. 
Every nation and every individual has a note in the 
rhythm of life, which, if struck, peals forth its 
sweet melody and the brotherhood of man is heard and 
felt. I asked a Russian Grand Duke the meaning of 
this great respect for their national air, a respect I had 
not noted among other nations. He replied, "It is a 
prayer." 

You may ask how this Chinese knew Russian music. 
In Peking, there is an English gentleman, well known, 
and beloved by both foreigners and Chinese. This gen- 
tleman is Sir Robert Hart, Inspector General of the 
Chinese Customs. His firm friendship manifested in 
generosity of thought and action endears him to all who 
know him. He is a lover of music and believes in its 
good influence. He formed a Chinese band of forty 
pieces, hired these men, paid their instructor, bought 
their fine instruments, music, uniforms, and everything 
pertaining to a good band, then invited foreigners to 
lawn parties, outdoor concerts, dances in his ball-room, 
dinners, and Wednesday "at homes." When the siege 
came upon us, Sir Robert, with the other foreigners, was 
compelled to flee for his life from his beautiful home, 
gardens, and all his belongings, to the British Legation. 
His band men fled far and near. This Chinese with his 
piccolo was one of these men. Truly no good thought 
nor act is ever lost. I said to Sir Robert, "If there were 
no other harvest from the wealth you have put into that 



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SLIGHT PUNISHMENTS 187 

band, the saving of that Chinese family was harvest rich 
enough. " He smiled and his heart spoke through his eyes. 

On the sixteenth, Li Hung Chang came to see Mr. 
Conger. After his official call, he asked to see the ladies, 
and remained about thirty minutes. He seemed to 
think eating horse meat during the siege quite a joke 
and talked and laughed about it. He thought we should 
forget eating horse meat now. We told him that it was 
not our food that we remembered with feeling, but the 
killing of our people, and the effort on the part of his 
countrymen to take our lives. He said a private decree 
had been sent to him by Their Majesties with regard to 
the punishments of the leaders of this great uprising. 
He told the substance and said that he would send a 
copy. The punishments are too insignificant even to be 
thought of, let alone being considered. 

Li Hung Chang said to Mr. Conger, "I wish you 
would use your influence with your colleagues, and per- 
suade them to think that these punishments are suffi- 
cient for my people." Mr. Conger replied, "I must 
first persuade myself that they are sufficient before I can 
use my influence with my colleagues in that direction/ ' 
Li Hung Chang looks quite well and seems no weaker 
than when he called a year ago. He surely has a mighty 
problem on his hands to solve for his country. He could 
not take much comfort or encouragement from this Le- 
gation to-day. 

The British are bringing the railroad through the city 
wall up to the front entrance of the Temple of Heaven. 
There are hundreds of coolies making the grade. Two 
coolies with a pole carry between them less than a bushel 
basket of dirt and empty it upon the grade. This man- 



188 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

labor takes much time. From this opening in the city 
wall to the old station, the railroad seems to be in almost 
a direct line and passes through a very old and large 
Chinese burial ground. There are hosts of coolies at 
work removing large coffins and small ones of stone and 
metal. In thousands of cases, the coffins cannot be 
moved or have become disintegrated; so baskets are filled 
with the bones; each basket is marked with the name, 
and all are carried to long, deep trenches, in which they 
are placed. As the Chinese reverence their ancestors, 
and twice a year devotedly make pilgrimages to worship 
and offer sacrifices at their tombs, this railroad work of 
the foreigner must be to them a most heartrending affair. 
The railroad could have gone a little to the right or left 
of this large, old cemetery. 

I have much sympathy for the Chinese, and yet I 
do not in any way uphold them nor excuse them in their 
fiendish cruelty. They have given the foreigner the most 
sorrowful, most degrading, and most revengeful treat- 
ment that their fiendish ideas can conceive. But the 
facts remain the same; China belongs to the Chinese, 
and she never wanted the foreigner upon her soil. The 
foreigner would come, force his life upon the Chinese, 
and here and there break a cog of the wheels that run 
their Government so systematically. Even if we grant 
that China's condition has been improved by these in- 
vasions, what right has the foreigner to enter this domain 
unbidden and unwelcomed? The foreigner has forced 
himself, his country, his habits, and his productions 
upon China, always against a strong protest. It kept 
getting worse for China, and she recognized the fact. 
At length, in one last struggle, she rose in her mistaken 



CONTEMPT FOR FOREIGNERS 189 

might to wipe the foreigner and his influence from her 
land. Could we, after taking these facts home to our- 
selves, blame the Chinese for doing what they could to 
get rid of what they considered an obnoxious pest that 
was undermining the long-established customs of their 
entire country? Their methods, however, are most 
lamentable. It seems to have been the thought from the 
beginning of this Chinese uprising to wipe out completely 
the foreigner and all his invading thoughts and works. 
The Chinese seemed willing to make untold sacrifices 
to accomplish this end. 

The foreigner has never lost sight of the fact that the 
Chinese officials wished to show them all the concealed 
disrespect that they dared; but, to what extent, they did 
not guess until now. Heretofore, the foreign Minis- 
ters, on their official visits to His Majesty, have been 
escorted through a side or back gate and received in a sim- 
ple, inferior throne room, poorly furnished, and arranged 
for this special occasion. Since the raising of the siege, 
the foreigner has been passing through the front gates 
and has entered most beautiful throne buildings with 
Imperial furnishings. They are elaborate, attractive, 
and rich in their Oriental beauty, color, and grandeur. 
The Tsung Li Yamen is a dirty, cheerless, barren build- 
ing, where the Chinese officials receive the foreign Min- 
isters. All this goes to show the contempt with which 
the Chinese regard the foreigner. 

To divide China among the nations would mean wars 
and a standing army large and strong. The bitterness 
of the Chinese would grow deeper and more active, and 
they would sting their venom into the foreigner with a 
poison not yet calculated. 



i 9 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Friend] 

American Legation, Peking, 
December jj, igoo. 

THE siege was a reign of terror to those here and else- 
where. The world felt the spell, and the united prayers 
of all the nations and creeds were wafted upward in des- 
pair of mortal power to save. These upward thoughts 
scattered the dark clouds, and saving Love smiled through. 

The foreign Ministers are continuously and diligently 
working to adjust matters on a peace basis. Thus far, 
there has been no serious clashing; the progress is neces- 
sarily slow, but it bids fair to come to harmonious adjust- 
ment. After the Ministers with careful thought and work 
have come together on certain points, there are eleven 
Governments back of them to approve or reject. 

Mr. Conger never had his hours crowded so full of 
important questions upon which he must not make mis- 
takes. We cannot, as yet, hope for a visit home, but we 
greatly wish that we might return in the Spring. The city 
has been cleaned by the allied troops. Each army seems 
to vie with the others in keeping its allotted portions of 
the city as though on dress parade. The harmony exist- 
ing between the different armies is remarkable. The little 
difficulties that might, under other circumstances, grow 
into big ones are soon settled. We sincerely hope that 
the day is not far distant when China will be the ruling 
power in Peking and in the entire North as well as in the 
South of this vast, rich, old Empire. The Court is hun- 
dreds of miles away at Sian Fu. May Truth and Right 
show us the way! 



CHRISTMAS IN PEKING 191 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
December 31, igoo. 

ONE of these swift coming and going days was the 
greatest of the whole year — the Christ Day! How we 
did think of the loved ones across the great waters! We 
were content in the thought that you were all giving 
thanks and rejoicing with glad hearts. We hoped that 
our love greetings had taken to you good cheer from us. 
These small gifts were so freighted with love and good 
wishes that I am very sure their fairy wings took them 
over difficulties and caused them to reach you in time for 
the Christmas feast. We had very little to do with here, 
but thought and planning caused that little to do much. 
To each missionary, to the hospital nurses, and others, I 
sent a card bearing a Christmas thought. To each of the 
wards in the hospitals I sent flowers; and faithful Wang, 
our first boy, helped me to make wreaths and crosses, 
which we tenderly placed upon the graves of the brave 
men who fell in our defence. When General Chaffee 
came into the Legation on Christmas Day, he saw the 
flowers upon the graves in our garden, and when he en- 
tered the house, he warmly took my hand in both of his 
and feelingly said, " Thank you for these beautiful flowers 
that you have placed upon the graves of my men." This 
was enough. It does not take much, after all, to touch the 
heart and make it thankful. 

There are many American soldiers buried in the cem- 
etery at the Temple of Agriculture. All are to be re- 
moved to their own dear land and loved ones. Our 
Government has already begun the work at Tientsin. 



i92 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

I must tell you of a beautiful and valuable gift pre- 
sented to Mr. Conger by the Protestant Chinese Christians 
in gratitude for what he had done for them. On the 
twenty-fourth, foreign representatives of different missions 
came with many of their native Christians, who were 
bearing an elegant tablet, resting upon a large catafalque, 
and sheltered by canopies of embroidered satins. This 
catafalque was carried upon large red poles by many men. 
This beautiful tablet came bearing respect and gratitude 
to Mr. Conger for the sympathy he had shown them and 
the help he had given them. One of the Chinese pastors 
made some very bright, pointed, and feeling remarks in 
presenting this tablet. The tablet is very large, too large 
for a private home; therefore Mr. Conger has chosen for 
its place of keeping the halls of his Alma Mater, at Gales- 
burg, Illinois. It is a beautiful thing of itself, and the 
thought most beautiful that manifested it. It is made of 
the hard teak-wood, elegantly carved, then gilded with 
gold leaf; the fine Chinese characters it bears tell its story. 

The Chinese gifts to Mr. Conger of umbrellas with 
all their trappings are unique, interesting, and some are 
exceedingly attractive and beautiful in their Oriental 
gorgeousness. We shall try to take some of them home 
with us complete. To take a part of each gift and not 
the whole would be a broken story, for every part has 
its bearing on every other part. 

On December twenty-fourth, a wonderful document, 
the Joint Note of the nations, was finished and handed 
by the Ministers to the Chinese representatives, Prince 
Ch'ing and Viceroy Li Hung Chang, in joint meeting. 
Now the Chinese Government has it to ponder, to accept, 
or to reject. 



TERMS OF PEACE ACCEPTED 193 

To-day, December thirtieth, the rejoicings of Decem- 
ber twenty-fourth are greatly increased. A reply has 
come back that the Chinese Government will accept the 
terms of peace given them by the nations in the Joint 
Note. They ask only for a few explanations, which 
signify little. 

[To a FriendJ 

American Legation, Peking, 
January 5, igoi. 

YOUR two excellent letters I have received, and they 
have had their sincere welcome. Your poem, we truly 
enjoyed; we have looked for it in print, but have not 
yet seen it. By this time, you are at home in Washing- 
ton, and I trust are having a happy winter. 

Affairs here are progressing, and changes come in 
many ways for the better. I will write to you of our 
army hospitals, as your Red Cross points to a living in- 
terest in that direction. I have been through them twice 
since you left us. They are an honor to our people and 
a home of comfort and plenty to the brave soldiers who 
are in them. Neatness, cleanliness, and warmth character- 
ize every part. They have plenty of sunlight and fresh 
air, good beds, sheets, pillowcases, warm blankets, towels, 
and other necessities. The patients have warm, proper 
food to eat, and the six women nurses are reported as 
doing good work. Those in charge speak in high terms 
of them. 

What a wonderful education the past year has given 
to the different peoples brought together in Peking! I 
often recall your visit and our long, earnest talks. They 
gave me an insight into your unselfish work of love to 



i 9 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

allay the suffering of the sick in hospitals. The great 
sacrifices you make do not seem to be sacrifices to you, 
because your heart's love is in your thought and action. 
But, dear girl, meet the rebuffs with a brave heart and 
do not let them for one moment discourage you. 

Strange world, is n't it? So much climbing to do, 
and so many thorns to avoid! After all, the bright 
Morning Star is ever shining to light us on our way, 
and we often hear the sweet melody of good cheer for 
work well done. Our house is still full. Every room 
is occupied. General Chaffee is in his own quarters 
now, and delightfully entertains his own people and 
others. 

The confidence that the Chinese have in the American 
army is surely a compliment to our officers. Colonel 
Wint has just returned from an expedition into the 
country. The natives fled as he and his men approached 
them, but, when they learned who they were, they 
remained in the villages, brought food to them, and 
formed long lines with buckets of water for the cavalry 
horses. 

When the Chinese merchants and business men re- 
turned to Peking with their goods, they first crowded into 
the Japanese quarters, as they believed most in their 
friendship and protection. When these streets became 
far too full for comfort, the Japanese told them that they 
must go to some other parts of the city. They at once 
flocked to the American quarters, filled its streets, and 
here they remain. We cannot longer call Peking a de- 
serted city. The Chinese are gaining more confidence, 
and so are we; but we cannot know what would be the 
effect if our armies were withdrawn. It is the thought 



JOINT NOTE SIGNED 195 

of many that it would be better for the larger part of the 
armies to be taken away. 

The humane way in which our army has treated the 
Chinese has been a bright star in America's crown. No 
one who is not here and in the work can understand what 
it means for many nations with their armies to be in a 
land without a head. You know the Throne of China was 
deserted, and no power was left to sustain and protect her 
people. 

[To a Sister] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
February 6, 1901. 

THE wonderful Joint Note is signed by the foreign 
Ministers. Happy is the day — clouds are lifting! 
May the sunshine of this day pass down through the 
coming ages. xAfter intense anxiety and much patient 
diplomatic work among colleagues and their nations, a 
great work is done. 

The different armies of the allied forces in Peking 
are vying with one another in their Grand Reviews. 
They are at their best — superb — all of them! 

January 13. Six months to-day since the fearful 
battle at Tientsin and the taking of the city by foreign 
troops. Our American officers say that America has 
not seen such a fearful battle since the Civil War. 

January 16. To-day the Joint Note was returned 
to the foreign Ministers officially signed by the Chinese 
Government. Now the work of the Protocol will begin. 
This detail work may be long and tedious. Our thoughts 
turn homeward. 

January 24.. The sad cablegram was received to-day 



196 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

that Her Majesty, the Queen of England, died January 
twenty-second at three o'clock. The whole world grieves. 
A beautiful, long life of usefulness glows anew, and will 
never lose its lustre. 

February 2. Burial services were read in the chapel 
at the British Legation for "Her Most Gracious Ma- 
jesty, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, 
Empress of India." The same services were also read 
at the Imperial Palace grounds. The eight nations were 
represented by their armies in full dress — an imposing 
sight full of respect and honor. 

The Diplomats are watchful, and acknowledge in 
many ways the respect and good will of the sisterhood 
of nations. Congratulations or condolences are invari- 
ably extended, and they often bear a concealed olive 
branch. 

[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
February 25, igoi. 

AS you seem to appreciate dates with their events, I 
turn to my diary. 

On February sixth, General Chaffee received a cable- 
gram that he had been promoted to a Major General in 
the regular army, and on February ninth we gave a dinner 
to twenty Americans in honor of Major General Chaffee. 
While standing at the table, Mr. Conger proposed a toast 
to "The President of the United States," and when din- 
ner was half over, a toast to "Major General Chaffee." 
As you are always interested in what he says, I will give 
you the substance of his remarks: 

"Authentic information has been received that the 




Foreign Ministers Who Signed the Joint Note, February 6, 1901 

Left to right: Major E. H. Conger (U. S. A.), Marquis J. Salvago Raggi (Italy), M. De Giers 
(Russia), Baron d'A. de Wasserwass (France), Don B. J. de Cologan (Spain), Sir E. Satow (Great 
Britain), Baron Nissi (Japan), Baron M. C. de Wallton (Austria-Hungary), M. N. Joostens (Bel- 
gium), Dr. von Mumm (Germany). 

(By Permission) 



TRIBUTE TO GENERAL CHAFFEE 197 

President, recognizing the merit of one of our most dis- 
tinguished soldiers, has conferred upon him the Stars 
of a Major General in the regular army. 

"This is not only a recognition of his eminent public 
service by the President personally, but, speaking for 
all the people of the United States, it is an expression of 
their high appreciation of his loyal, patriotic, and splen- 
did service to them and to the country. 

"General Chaffee has come into his own, and his 
friends, whose name is legion, will all say Amen. 

"None, anywhere, can felicitate him more heartily 
than do his friends gathered around this table to-night. 
Yes, I will make a single exception. There is one who 
I am certain will enjoy the promotion more than any 
one here. She is even now smiling through her glad 
tears, and sending him on the wings of mental telepathy 
a loving message, which is this moment being registered 
by his own quick heartbeats. 

"She has watched with loving interest this evolu- 
tion of a Major General; has seen with justifiable pride 
a small bar appear in each end of his shoulder straps; 
she has seen these doubled; then replaced by golden 
leaves; and then observed these, like the hair on her 
hero's head, turn to silver; has witnessed these in turn 
driven out by the proud American eagle. Now he is 
dethroned, and two brilliant stars will henceforth per- 
manently take his place. Methinks, I can hear this 
woman's glad rejoicing. Will you not all join me in 
extending congratulations to the wife of General Chaffee ? 

"General Chaffee, you have been greatly honored, 
but forty years of such splendid service as yours deserves 
even greater rewards. To have fought with Grant in 



i 9 8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

the Wilderness; to have stood for years, like a stone wall, 
between savages and the pioneers of the West; to have 
won the victory at El Caney and made the salvation of 
Cuba possible; to have hastened half-way around the 
world, compelled an immediate movement of the allied 
forces from Tientsin, battered down the gates and scaled 
the walls of Peking, and with the heroic efforts of brave 
men, saved the beleagured prisoners from a terrible death, 
is worth a dozen stars. 

"The President has made no mistake, and both he 
and the country are to be generously congratulated, 

"I ask you, my friends, to rise and join me in this 
toast to our distinguished guest, Major General Adna 
R. Chaffee, great soldier and good friend. May his 
new stars lead him to heights to which his eagles could 
never carry him, and may prosperity and happiness attend 
him to the end." 

Major General Chaffee was at his best, and all seemed 
happy. He climbed to this height from the ranks; and 
we all rejoice with him. 

February 23. Mr. Conger cabled to the State De- 
partment to-day asking a leave of absence. He has been 
here three years without rest; he has remained through 
the coming of the troubles, the climax of them, and until 
the negotiations are well started. The Joint Note has 
been completed and signed, and the Protocol begun. 

February 24.. A welcome cablegram came to-day, 
and we are all rejoicing. We are going home! Many 
of the Diplomats and others have brought us their con- 
gratulations. We shall soon be with you and other 
loved ones and dear friends. 




Lieutenant-General Adna R. Chaffee, U- S. A. 

(By Permission) 



TIENTSIN WALLS LEVELLED 199 

[To a Niece] 

Steamship, March 29, igoi. 

WE left Peking on March eleventh and remained over 
night at Tientsin. Consul Ragsdale took us for a long 
drive and pointed out the places made historic by the 
fearful engagement of last summer. 

The battles at Tientsin were terrific. The Chinese 
showed courage beyond the imagination of those who 
know them best. They were determined, fought bravely, 
and put the foreign armies to a bitter test. The walls 
of the Native City are being levelled to the ground for 
a boulevard. This must be a sickening sight to the 
Chinese. Ta Ku, by order of the foreigner, is bereft of 
her forts. We spent a few days in Shanghai, then went 
to Hong Kong. Captain Green invited us to the bridge 
to see the beautiful bay. As we were weaving the big 
ship among the hilly islands, the scene before us was most 
beautiful. We were cordially entertained in this British 
port. Captain McCalla received us on board the New- 
ark. All the salutes and attentions that could be shown 
a Minister were extended. Some of the marines who 
were in siege with us were on board, and we were truly 
glad to see them. After two days' stay in Hong Kong 
we sailed for Canton. What can I say more than you 
read in books about this wonderful place ? This ancient, 
thrifty, unique, massive, condensed city fascinates me. 
Everything here is Cantonese. Each of the great cities 
of China stands out from all the others with its own in- 
dividuality. In visiting Shanghai, we see Shanghai only, 
not Tientsin, nor Peking, nor Canton. The interior 
cities also have their own peculiar individuality, their 



2oo LETTERS FROM CHINA 

own industries, and their own dialect. The written 
character with its meaning, however, remains the same 
throughout the entire Empire. The seeker for informa- 
tion finds it at every step in China, and this information 
is so varied that it becomes intensely interesting. 

I am in the land of the so-called heathen. We have 
been taught that a heathen is superstition, cruelty, and 
ignorance personified. But I find that these character- 
istics, in a degree, can be traced in what are called the 
enlightened Christian nations, in individuals composing 
those nations, and in myself. 

One of the richest lessons I have learned in the Far 
East is to endeavor to root out of my own character what 
I condemn in the character of others; and to water and 
carefully nurture the little tendrils in my own living that 
I admire and commend in others. This I call striking at 
the root. 

The foreign settlement in Canton is on an island and 
is barred from the city at night by a locked gate. This 
island has large buildings two and three stories high 
with broad verandas. The climate and vegetation are 
quite tropical. Broad streets, palms and other fine trees, 
beautiful flowers, shrubs, lawns, parks, gardens, and 
shady paved streets combine to welcome the foreigner 
and give him an attractive home. 

There is no way to traverse the very narrow streets of 
Canton except in chairs or on foot. Some of them are not 
over six feet wide; others are from eight to ten feet in 
width. The buildings are from two to four stories high. 
Little shrines are at the doorway of each shop, and the 
streets are gay with bright, fancy, hanging signs. No 
animals are seen in the city, as all labor is done by men 



"FORTUNE BLOCKS" aoi 

and women. Women work here on boats and in the 
streets, a thing which they seldom do in North China. 

Our trips are most interesting. Each shop has its 
specialty of silver, carved woods, ivory, embroideries, 
silks, drawnwork, feather ornaments, jewelry, fans, por- 
celains, brasses, curios, fireworks, linens, shoes, clothing, 
markets of meat, and markets of vegetables. 

When we were visiting one of the large temples, our 
Chinese guide told us of many of the religious forms 
which had been handed down through the centuries. I 
will tell you of one in which we were deeply interested 
because it was entirely new to us. We came to a large 
Buddha with all its belongings, and added to these were 
" Fortune Blocks," two blocks shaped like a long-necked 
gourd cut in halves. These halves were placed together 
by the person who came to have his fortune told, then 
dropped upon the floor in front of the Buddha. If the 
flat sides were down, that was good fortune. If one was 
down and the other up, it was half good luck; if both were 
up this indicated bad luck. They do this three times, and 
if the favor of the god is with them, they undertake to 
carry out their desire; if against them, they abandon it. 
The guide illustrated the custom in this way; "I wish 
to take some trip or enter upon some business enterprise. 
I go to this Buddha and take these blocks and pray this 
Buddha for his hearing; then I drop them. What this 
Buddha tells me through these blocks I believe to be true 
and listen to him." 

The Consul took us to see three pirates in cages. 
These prisoners were in the streets where they could be seen 
while being tortured. They are compelled to stand with 
toes barely touching the floor, and are tied up by their 



202 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

hair and in other ways. Their hands are chained to- 
gether. Each cage is just tall enough and wide enough 
for one man. They remain in them all day, but are let 
out at night, though still kept in close confinement. Some 
are sentenced for six months, others for a year, for many 
years, or for life, and still others are sentenced to starve. 
The object is to make the punishment equal to the crime. 
It is said that Li Hung Chang, although severe, wrought 
a good work here in behalf of law and order. It was with 
deep interest that we visited this wonderful old city with 
its strange temples, guilds, shops, and narrow streets. 
The inhabitants of Canton seem to be a good class of 
Chinese; they are industrious and thrifty. 

There are many unspoken and unwritten thoughts in 
my mind about the Chinese. While I repudiate and 
abhor many of their customs, thoughts, and deeds, I truly 
admire many of their characteristics. The foreigner has 
proved to be an obnoxious invader. In return, the 
Chinese are revengeful. The punishment, according to 
their laws, is no more than equal to the crime. The for- 
eigner would do the same thing, only differing in methods. 
It is a war of ideas, in which each is striving to sustain his 
own. China, with her long-established wheels within 
wheels all working together, does not wish to have the 
foreign nations touch and disarrange this systematic 
working. There is a broad, deep guirbetween China 
and other nations. Foreign nations seem determined to 
change the granite customs of China, and China struggles 
for their preservation. What will the outcome be ? This 
generation cannot answer this question. 

Mr. Lee Chee and the American Consul made arrange- 
ments for us to visit the home of one of the highest man- 



A MANDARIN'S HOME 203 

darins, a most influential and wealthy Cantonese Taotai, 
and to dine with him. At half -past six o'clock we started 
into the dark Native City in our chairs, with an escort of 
soldiers bearing torches. The gates along our extended 
journey were opened on our approach and immediately 
closed behind us. Everything looked weird; the men 
standing around their dim lights looked suspicious. It 
was a dismal, dreary sight. The narrow streets looked 
more narrow with their limited, flickering lights. Our 
many lanterns and torches were ahead of us, on the sides, 
and behind. Each ward of the city has a gate, which is 
locked at night. These were opened for us to pass, then 
closed again. After a ride of about forty-five minutes, 
we reached the palatial home of this official. We passed 
through many courts and stopped in a large one at the 
door of a building leading to the drawing-room building. 
We are told that this Mr. Chow Tung Sang is Justice 
of the Peace. As merchant and banker he stands among 
the most wealthy men of South China. As we entered the 
large p'eng court filled with many chairs, Mr. Lee Chee 
met us and introduced us to Mr. Chow and his wealthy 
mandarin brothers. They escorted us into the ancestral 
hall, gorgeous with its tablets and belongings. Here we 
were presented to Mrs. Chow, and tea was served. Their 
little fourteen-year-old son entered and was introduced. 
Later we were introduced to their eleven daughters. 
All had exceedingly small, bound feet. They were all 
richly dressed in bright colors and elegant ornaments. 
The scene was bewildering in its beauty. Their faces 
seemed to be almost enameled in white, and then daintily 
painted in red, with a deep red spot upon the lower lip. 
We were invited into Mrs. Chow's private apartments. 



2o 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

These were astonishingly beautiful with rich carvings, 
embroidered hangings, and the richest of Chinese furnish- 
ings. We were informed that this was the first time that 
foreigners had ever entered these private rooms. This 
visit was unfolding rare pages of Chinese culture and 
home life. There were many rooms, and all were har- 
moniously clothed in elegant grandeur. With modest, 
quiet demeanor, these sealed doors were opened to the 
foreigner. We were then escorted into a theatre and 
seated at a dinner table in front of the stage. The stage 
was well lighted with gas, and both stage and costumes 
were gorgeous, brilliant, and rich. The play, a special 
one for the American Minister, was the story of the pro- 
motion of a high official to still higher honors as a reward 
for notable services. The star performers came first upon 
the stage to give the Minister and his party a welcome 
and to extend good wishes. Mr. Lee Chee kindly inter- 
preted the play in its advancing stages. The people, 
surroundings, music, singing, acting, costumes, stage — 
everything, formed a brilliant, harmonious whole. Back 
of everything the Chinese do is a meaning which asks for 
a response. Foreigners do not know the language of 
these long-time customs, and seemingly disregard the 
polite harmony so clear to the Chinese. It grieves me 
not to be able to express to them my appreciation and 
gratitude when they show respect and honor. They have 
established systems of etiquette which do not change. 
These they teach thoroughly to the young. In all classes, 
they know what they are expected to do under different 
circumstances, and strict adherence to these rules of 
etiquette is almost sure to bring good results. The 
Chinese ladies were above us in an open veranda. There 



HONOR TO ENGLISH KING 205 

were many other tables in the room, and seated at these 
were other Chinese officials. We remained until half-past 
ten. We were privileged to take our departure when we 
wished, but the Chinese remain all night at these notable 
feasts. 

When the play was ended, the one for the American 
Minister, we were shown through other apartments fur- 
nished with the finest Chinese productions. The son bade 
us good-bye at the table. Mrs. Chow came out again and 
cordially and politely extended her good wishes. The 
daughters we did not meet again. I need not assure you 
that our evening was a delight to us. 

Marked honors were shown the American Minister 
here as elsewhere in our trips, as China has great respect 
for our Government. We carry many treasures from 
Canton in hand, mind, and heart. 

Happy, happy farewell to the strange old city! 

At Hong Kong, Sir Henry and Lady Blake entertained 
us at dinner. Sir Henry is the Governor General of this 
British island. When dinner was about half over, Sir 
Henry and all arose and drank to the health of the British 
King. He said that it has been customary the world 
over, where England reigns, to drink to the health of the 
much beloved Queen, now to the King. They have a 
fixed hour for all to show this respect and honor. In 
this way, each hour of the twenty-four, he is remembered. 
We bowed assent, as we realized that the sun never sets 
on the British domain. A beautiful custom, to remember 
with good cheer the ruler of one's country. 

Admiral Kemp sent a launch, and we visited the great 
Kentucky, one of our best warships. It is mighty in its 
power, and its mechanism is wonderful. The playing of 



2o6 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

the band, the salutes of men and guns, the official atten- 
tions, the perfect order and cleanliness of the great ship, 
all bear a dignified grandeur. As our launch moved out, 
the vessel began to fire her many guns in honor of the 
American Minister, who stood with head uncovered in 
view of the ship until the last gun was given. As we left 
Hong Kong and passed out of the bay and by the Ken- 
tucky, the band played, and our flag was dipped three 
times to the American Minister. Captain Green of our 
steamer Nippon hoistedithe American flag and dipped a 
response. 

We are now truly homeward bound. 



[To a Nephew] 

American Legation, Peking, 
December 20, igoi. 

I HAVE returned later than Mr. Conger from our 
delightful visit to our home land, and I am now with him 
in Peking. Our Legation home extends its warm welcome. 

You ask about preparation for work. My revered 
father used to say, "Remember there is always a chance 
for him who prepares himself for a chance." This 
preparation is made by working from principle. Uni- 
formly and steadfastly stand for it in all your living. 
Principle is so imperative that we cannot mock it if we 
try. Your opponents, or those not of your opinion, will 
respect your honesty. If we are dishonest to principle, 
we belittle ourselves in our own sight and we cannot do 
our best. One writer, in speaking of China, says: 

"We are inclined to measure this people by a yard-stick 
of our own construction, the model of which is formed in our- 



THE AMERICAN MARINES 207 

selves. They are right or wrong, wise or unwise, according 
as they copy or depart from the fashion which we have arbi- 
trarily set up, the ideals formed within the essentially narrow 
limits of our personal surroundings." 

This yard-stick has not the principle of which I am 
speaking. 

The American marines, our first guards, arrived in 
Peking in November, 1898, and remained until March, 
1899. These men were in every way an honor to our 
country and an honor to themselves. They were per- 
mitted and trusted to go out into the city, and they never 
abused that liberty. When they left Peking Mr. Conger 
wrote for them a strong letter of recommendation to 
Admiral Dewey at Manila. To-day, in talking with 
Mr. G., one of the missionaries, he said, "The marines 
told me that they were delighted over the letter Mr. 
Conger wrote to Admiral Dewey about them, and that 
they should not be surprised if Mr. Conger shook hands 
with them when they left." Mr. Conger did not know of 
this thought, but, as they were standing in line just before 
starting, he stepped in front of them and spoke a few 
words of good cheer and good-bye and shook hands with 
each man. They were pleased, as it is not a common 
thing for a foreign Minister to show such attention to men 
in the ranks. They gave three cheers for the American 
Minister and three cheers for the American Legation at 
Peking, then again three cheers for the foreign citizens at 
Peking. They carried away with them the good will and 
respect, not only of their countrymen, but of the com- 
munity. Why? Because there was principle at heart. 
They had earned these prizes. They had prepared them- 
selves to receive them. 



2o8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

How much has come into our experience since the 
departure of those men! It seems years ago. Other 
guards have come, fought, and died. Armies t;me 
and relieved us, and are here now. Only think of it! 
Eleven nations are working together for peace, and they 
are doing the work on foreign soil and in an enemy's city. 
Such a situation as this the world has never known. May 
better things come to China and to the foreign nations! 

The old year is drawing to its close, and the Chinese 
are making great preparation for the coming of the new. 
"The Chinese year is lunar, the beginning being marked 
by the first new moon following the passage of the sun 
into the constellation of Aquarius, imposing limits of 
January twenty-first aj the earliest date and February 
nineteenth as the latest." There are usually twelve 
moons in a Chinese year. Sometimes there are thirteen 
moons, then two moons bear the same number. Last 
year there were two eighth moons. This occurrence is 
considered by the Chinese as a bad omen. The burn- 
ing of the tower over the Imperial gate was another bad 
omen. They feared their gods in 1900. 

The Chinese celebrate the birthdays of their gods. 
As there are gods many, there are celebrations many. 
To illustrate: One night I noticed unusual lights, music, 
and feast-making in the stables. I asked my first boy, 
Wang, the occasion for this. He replied, "Mafoos cele- 
brate birthday of god for stables. They ask god care for 
horses — care for work all year." It is a universal cele- 
bration among the mafoos. The cooks celebrate the 
birthday of the kitchen god. Thus it is through the long 
list of celebrations in honor of the gods to whom they 
look for help in their work. 



MESSENGER SYSTEMS 209 

I have never told you of our " chit-book " system; 
it helps us to know just what we are doing. We prepare 
our packages, write our notes, letters, or invitations, 
then take our " chit-book, " a blank book for this pur- 
pose, and write the name and address of the one who is 
to receive this package or letter; we then ring the bell for 
the first boy. He places the Chinese address upon the 
package or letter, then starts a messenger off to deliver 
it. The receiver "chits" or checks it with his name, and 
back the "chit-book" comes to us and we know it is 
all right. 

There is another messenger about which I am going 
to tell you. One of China's old-time customs is the use 
of carrier pigeons. These little things of beauty seroe 
their masters well. Many important messages and 
business transactions have been entrusted to these birds, 
as they are trustworthy whether the distance be short 
or long. The merchants, brokers, and other business 
men gather at the Board of Trade very early in the morn- 
ing. After they have learned the rate of exchange and 
other business, they fasten a message to the tail of the 
pigeon. Then, in order to frighten away the hawks, 
they choose a whistle from their almost endless variety, 
fasten it to the bird, and send this little messenger out 
to find its destination. These whistles are made of 
bamboo or gourds in many shapes, colors, and weights. 
Some are large with many low- toned pipes; others are 
small with higher tones. Some have many pipes like 
an organ and are artistically made. Early in the morning 
the air resounds with this musical chorus of myriads 
of piped whistles which are fastened upon the birds in 
such a way as to catch the wind. Each bird knows his 



2io LETTERS FROM CHINA 

home and hastens to it. The messengers despatched, 
the master's work is done, and he chats with his friends 
over his cup of tea. 

The Chinese formerly built for all time, and never 
with the thought of repairs. There is much in China 
to-day over twenty centuries old which proclaims the 
quality of their substantial building. The Great Wall 
of China, the Grand Canal, the arched bridges, the temple 
walls from three to four feet thick, the pagodas, the Great 
Bell still perfect in its fifth century, the wonderful astro- 
nomical instruments of the Peking Observatory, and many 
other structures tell a mighty story of the strength and 
cohesive power that builded them. After the large gate- 
way was opened in the city wall above the Water Gate, 
it was necessary to remove an arched bridge which 
spanned the canal. This bridge was built of fine marble 
with many cemented and bolted layers. This cement 
and these metal bolts defied the power of blasting. They 
had been holding their place for five hundred years, and 
they challenged man to remove them. Only constant 
picking and blasting made the bridge yield. In a lan- 
guage of endurance it contested every inch of the inva- 
sion. Such qualities in the hearts and minds of a people 
forge a nation that is hard to rend asunder. What is 
the quality of the new "progress," about which we hear 
so much ? 

When will the pendulum of time stop its constant 
swinging, quiet its noisy ticking, and let eternity's low 
sweet voice be heard? Did you ever think if we tarry a 
moment and listen we can catch whisperings of this 
sweet silence even in this mortal living? Some do catch 
them, and these whisperings vitalize history and live 



LAMA TEMPLE SERVICE 211 

beyond any written word. Eternity's gift is the Now, 
eternity's light is ever silently sparkling in this Now; with 
an intuitive eye we recognize this Now; with delight 
we inhale the fragrance of this Now; with acuteness we 
hear the melody of this Now; with sensitiveness we feel 
this Now; and with gratitude we taste the joys of this 
Now. Eternity is mental, and eternity's gifts are mental. 
Recorded history is only the memory of the expressions 
of thought. Some of these thoughts bear so much of 
stable truth and eternal life in them that they stand the 
tests of time. The Bible is the Book of all books that 
proclaims most their stability. To-day, its every page 
glows for mankind as never before with the activity of 
Life, the joys of Truth, and the tender protection of Love. 
May you enter this activity, taste these joys, and be 
conscious of this protection always. 



[To a Sister] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
March 9, igo2. 
MY recent visit to a special service at the Lama 
Temple was full of interest. The service was a peace- 
offering to the god of peace and prosperity. With chanting 
and other music, about two hundred Lama priests entered 
the large hall of worship. In the centre, in front of the 
altar on which were burning candles and incense, sat 
the living representative of the long line of Lama priests. 
He was in his altar chair, and was dressed in rich robes. 
In front of him was a table and upon it were a bell, a rattle, 
holy water, and other articles of worship, which he used 
at intervals during the ceremony. The other priests sat 



2i2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

on three long rows of stools on either side and seemed to 
be classified and to take their parts according to their 
order. Their chanting, ringing of bells, clapping of 
cymbals, tinkling of rattles, drinking of tea, burning of 
incense, kotowing, and putting on of rich robes and knight- 
like hats; the marching, the placing before them of a 
skeleton image, the chanting, counting, and hand man- 
oeuvres connected with much else, awakened a strange 
line of reasoning as I stood there for an hour intensely 
interested. While in this temple, I noticed there was 
burning oil in small brass cups before the Buddhas. 
This oil is of the very best, and gives a white light which 
never goes out. Is not this a little thought-ray from 
eternity's pure radiance? I left the Lama Temple with 
food for thought, research, and reflection. 

There were no Chinese women in this great hall of 
worship. I meditated. My thoughts turned to the past 
and to the different stages of the world's worship. This 
problem presented itself to me, and I took it home to 
work upon: Why should the worship of the Supreme 
Creator, Protector, and Sustainer of all good be so hedged 
in by forms, ceremonies, laws, and rituals, as to bar out 
woman ? 

The death of the great Viceroy, Li Hung Chang, 
efficient diplomat, and China's strong adviser and worker, 
is lamented the world over. In youth, he was studious 
and ambitious to win the honors of his country. This he 
surely did. The Examination Halls conferred upon him 
their highest recognition of work well done, and opened 
the way for him to bear the highest official positions of 
this vast Empire. 

Shortly after Li Hung Chang's death, a very large 



FUNERAL OF A NOBLE 213 

announcement card was sent to his friends and the 
Diplomats. Mr. Conger and his staff called and paid 
their respects. As we had exchanged calls with the ladies 
* of the household, it was asked if it would be in accord- 
ance with their wishes for us to pay our respects to the 
dead and to extend our sympathies to the living. This 
privilege was cordially granted. We passed through 
court after court filled with people and with quantities of 
gifts, expressing sympathy, high esteem, and honor. 
This was our first visit to a Chinese house of mourning. 
The sounds of wailing music, the coarse white sack-cloth 
of the mourners and servants, the many banners, the 
almost numberless signs of sorrow, the food, the altar 
with its shrine and shrine accessories, all combined to 
make the scene weird, yet so intense that we partook of 
the spirit of the solemn occasion. Mr. Williams, our 
Legation Chinese Secretary, accompanied us to the 
shrine room, where the son of Earl Li Hung Chang 
received us. After a few moments of condolence, we 
took our leave. The ceremonies were prolonged into 
days and weeks. The burning of funeral emblems took 
place at proper times; the wailing music continued, and 
offerings and sacrifices were made that foreigners know 
not of. 

The son said that if we so desired he would inform us 
when the procession would start on its long journey. We 
assured him that we should feel honored. There had 
been many shrines and resting pavilions erected along 
the route; nothing was left undone that respect, honor, 
and wealth could bestow. To comprehend, even in part, 
the meaning of a Chinese funeral procession, we must 
see it and study it, for each part has its meaning, and each 



2i 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

performer has his duty in the great whole. Any language 
would beggar a description of this wonderful procession 
bearing the remains of Viceroy Li Hung Chang out of 
Peking. It extended miles and was brilliant in its color- 
ings, in its embroideries and strange designs. There 
were rich silk and satin embroidered canopies, umbrellas, 
chairs, and emblems representing high Imperial, official, 
and scholarly honors. The catafalque bearing the re- 
mains was of the largest, richest, and most beautiful. 
The great number of uniformed bearers and escorts were 
in accordance with this Viceroy's high rank. All compos- 
ing this early morning ceremony helped to form a bewil- 
dering picture that was slowly moving away from us. We 
could not know its meaning, and we could never see it 
again. Man surely approved the deeds of this strong 
character, from China's Imperial throne to her humblest 
subject. This whole picture was, to me, out of the 
realm of reality, and yet I knew that each part of this 
wonderful procession held its deep meaning and was 
real to those people. I mentally cried out, "Halt! tell 
me!" I have seen in China many small and large fu- 
neral processions, but this one, in magnitude and splendor, 
surpassed all that I could extravagantly imagine; there- 
fore I shall not try to describe it. In the streets and upon 
the wall, we saw it in detail and as a whole. Outside 
of the city wall was a shrine building to which we were 
invited during a special service. The large, beautifully 
and richly covered catafalque stopped in front of this 
building and the sons entered and performed sacred rites. 
Then the long, gorgeous, extremely Oriental procession 
passed on and on until only the memory of it was left. 
The remains of this great man were taken to his home 




Viceroy Li Hung Chang 



RETURN OF IMPERIAL COURT 215 

in South China. Li Hung Chang was born in 1823. 
He lived to the age of seventy-eight years and served 
his country most ably. Age did not make him halt in his 
proficient service. His sons cannot hold office nor per- 
form any official duty until after the season of two years' 
mourning closes. His grandson will bear his ^itle. 

A marked exception to the general rule that political 
preferment must come first through the test of the Ex- 
amination Halls is seen in one of the most able of China's 
statesmen, Yaun-Shih-Kai. He is of a strong family, and 
has proved himself most proficient in meeting his country's 
needs. In 1898, he shrewdly baffled the plot to take 
Jung Lu's life and to imprison the Empress Dowager. 
The defeating of this plan caused the coup oVetat, and the 
Empress Dowager was called back to the throne. Dur- 
ing the Boxer uprising, Yaun-Shih-Kai maintained peace 
in his Province and thwarted these bloodthirsty men in 
their fiendish designs. Strong men are coming to the 
front from many directions and stand battling for the 
preservation of China. 



PTo Our Daughter] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
March 14., IQ02. 
ACCORDING to my list book I have not told you 
about the return of the Imperial Court to Peking and 
into the Forbidden City. 

On January seventh the Emperor, Empress Dowager, 
Empress, and their Court returned to their forsaken 
capital. This was a wonderful day. The future will 
detect more in it than the present understands. It must 



2i6 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

have been a mighty Hand that lifted the heavy, blood- 
stained curtain between China and the eleven nations, 
and made it possible to lay down animosities and extend 
friendship's hand warm with pledges of forgiveness and 
good will. O Father of Love, help us to know Thee 
better, and still better. 

For months, there had been extensive preparation 
made by the Chinese to get everything in " proper" order 
for the return of the Court, and they surely did well. 
Paint, plaster, and decorations upon the old and the new 
buildings made them smile a bright, cheery welcome to 
Their Majesties. As the massive gateway towers had 
been burned, in their place were improvised towers be- 
decked with royal emblematic decorations in the Impe- 
rial colorings. Between the lines of Chinese soldiers, 
who were kneeling with bowed heads, the Court passed 
with more than the usual display and ceremony. 

The Chinese had prepared a building, to which they 
invited the foreign Diplomats to witness the return of the 
Court. Order characterized the entire proceedings, as 
China's high officials, army, and large escort, attended the 
Court into the city, through the cities, and on into their 
Forbidden City, which is so sacred to them. This was 
all done in the midst of eight large armies of eight large 
nations. It was a brave act on the part of China, but she 
passed into the quiet, sacred solemnity of the pledges of 
peace, and was not harmed. 

A few days later, six foreign Ministers presented their 
credentials to the Emperor in an audience. For the first 
time in China's history, the foreign Ministers entered the 
Forbidden City, and entered it at the front gate. After 
the official ceremony with the Emperor, they were for the 




General Yaun-Shih-Kai 



AN AUDIENCE AT COURT 217 

first time received by the Empress Dowager. On January 
twenty-seventh, the gentlemen of the Diplomatic Corps 
were received in a body; the ceremony was formal, dig- 
nified, and most respectful. The Empress Dowager was 
seated on the throne. 

On February first, the Emperor and the Empress 
Dowager received the ladies of the Diplomatic Corps, the 
wives of the Commanders of the Legation Guards, and 
the children, in an audience. A wonderful day it was! 
Can we not catch glimpses of a distant union as the rounds 
in the ladder take us upward ? Who could desire to cast 
one shadow across this path of progress? Many days of 
preparation for the occasion came and went, and on the 
beautiful morning of February first, the Dean of the Corps, 
the ladies, children, and interpreters met at the American 
Legation and, after refreshments and picture-taking, left 
for the Palace. The twenty-nine green sedan chairs with 
six or eight bearers each, the Chinese mounted escorts, 
and the mounted Legation guards and mafoos made an 
impressive procession upon our long ride to the Forbidden 
City. We passed along the high wall, into and through 
the Imperial City, on and on to the second east gate of the 
Forbidden City. Here we all left our green official chairs 
and took red Imperial chairs, which were carried by black- 
robed eunuchs to the court gate of the Palace, where we 
were received by high officials and escorted to a waiting- 
room, where tea was served. Chinese officials announced 
the hour for audience and led the way. The Dean and 
other guests followed in order. Chinese court women 
took our arms as we passed out of the waiting-room and 
attended us to the door of the throne building. On our 
way through the courts, we passed up marble steps with 



ai8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

most wonderfully carved marble slabs in the centre, and 
carved white marble balustrades, and on through gorgeous 
passageways. These passages are massive in structure 
and brilliant in decorations. They have heavy, yellow, 
extended tile roofs supported by decorated teak-wood 
columns. Standing on the broad platform at the top of 
the white marble steps of the last pavilion in its glow of 
colorings and decorations were the Princesses of the Court, 
and, at either side, the high officials. They were all 
attired in rich, Oriental costumes and adornments. Their 
natural grace of manner and extreme courtesy intensified 
the beauty of the scene. The picture was a fairy one, 
and yet the bright sun was shining upon a living picture. 
I never saw its equal in artistic beauty. The Chinese 
study the effect of color and the multiplied shades of 
color. Never have I more greatly desired the power of 
innate and cultured art of word and pencil to express 
what I felt and saw in that native Chinese picture. It 
stood for far more than extreme beauty. Would that the 
tip of my pen were clever enough, and that the daintiness 
and richness of my ink were so quality-blessed that they 
might tell this valuable story. These Princesses, with a 
gracious recognition, turned and passed before us and 
took their places near the Empress Dowager. 

At the door of the throne room we halted, fell into 
our rightful places, and entered, bowing three times at 
intervals as we approached the throne of Her Majesty. 
She sat back of a long table, upon which lay a beautiful 
coral sceptre. As we approached, the Empress Dowager 
smiled a recognition to me, as I was the only one of the 
group of ladies she had met before. As the Dean of the 
ladies of the Diplomatic Corps, I addressed Her Majesty 



ADDRESS TO EMPRESS DOWAGER 219 

on behalf of all the ladies. Mr. Williams, American 
Secretary, interpreted for me. I said: 

"Your Majesty, the ladies of the Diplomatic Corps 
have responded with pleasure to your kind invitation for 
this audience; and we most heartily congratulate you 
and all the Imperial Court that the unfortunate situation 
which led you to abandon your beautiful capital has been 
so happily resolved, and that you are now permitted to 
return to it in freedom and in peace. Your safe return 
to Peking and to this undestroyed palace will furnish 
pages to future history little comprehended at this time. 

"The events of the past two years must be as painful 
to you as they are to the rest of the world ; but the sting 
of the sad experience may be eliminated, and we sincerely 
hope that it will be, through the establishment of better, 
franker, more trustful, and friendlier relations between 
China and the other peoples of the earth. The world is 
moving forward. The tide of progress cannot be stayed, 
and it is to be hoped that China will join the great sister- 
hood of nations in the grand march. May all the nations, 
united, manifest forbearance, respect, and good will, 
moving on to the mutual good of all. 

"The recent Imperial Edicts give promise of great 
good to your people and to your vast Empire, and it is 
our earnest prayer that God may preserve Your Majesty 
and the Emperor and guide you to the fullest fruition of 
this promise." 

When I finished reading, Prince Ch'ing stepped upon 
the throne and, kneeling to the Empress Dowager, took 
from her hand her reply. Then followed the presenta- 
tion of the ladies and children according to rank. The 
Empress Dowager took the hand of each lady and child, 



22o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

and this finished the formal ceremonies with Her Majesty. 
We were then presented to the Emperor, who took the 
hand of each lady. After these presentations we were 
escorted to another large room, where an informal recep- 
tion was held. The Empress Dowager was there and as 
we entered she asked for "Kang Tai Tai" — my Chinese 
name — and I was presented to her. She took my hands 
in both of hers, and her feelings overcame her. When 
she was able to control her voice, she said, "I regret, and 
grieve over the late troubles. It was a grave mistake, 
and China will hereafter be a friend to foreigners. No 
such affair will again happen. China will protect the 
foreigner, and we hope to be friends in the future." 

"We believe that you are sincere," I replied. "By 
knowing each other better we believe we shall become 
friends." 

The Empress Dowager then asked if there were any 
other ladies present who were in the siege. Mrs. Bain- 
bridge of the American Legation and Mrs. Saussine of 
the French Legation were presented. She again turned 
to me, extending both hands, and took mine with a few 
uninterpreted Chinese words. And then taking from 
one of her fingers a heavy, carved gold ring set with an 
elegant pearl, she placed it upon one of mine ; then from 
her wrists she took choice bracelets and placed them upon 
my wrists. To each lady she presented gifts of great 
value. The children and the interpreters were also 
kindly remembered. 

From here we were escorted to the banquet hall, where 
three long tables were spread with the choicest Chinese 
food. We were asked to be seated. A vacant chair was 
at the end of the table, at my left. As the Empress Dow- 



ASSURANCES OF PEACE 221 

ager entered we all arose. She came to this vacant chair, 
took her glass of wine, and we did likewise. She placed 
her glass in my left hand, gracefully pressed my two hands 
together, so that the glasses touched, and said, "United." 
She then took my glass, leaving me hers, and raised the 
glass to all, and all responded. Then cups of tea were 
served. The Empress Dowager took one with both 
hands and placing it in mine, lifted it to my lips. After 
all were served with tea, we were invited to be seated. 
The Empress Dowager then took a filled biscuit, broke 
it, and placed a small piece of it in my mouth. She paid 
like compliments to other Ministers' wives, and placed a 
morsel upon the plates of other guests at the same table. 
Chinese Princesses, three of whom I had met at the first 
audience, were seated with us. They smilingly bowed 
a recognition and offered their hands. The Empress 
Dowager's adopted daughter, the Imperial Princess, and 
her Princess niece, stood by her and showed us thoughtful 
courtesy. The appointed Minister to England, kneeling, 
acted as interpreter. We talked about the returning of 
the Court, the loss of Viceroy Li Hung Chang, the Chinese 
schools which I had visited, the meeting of higher Chinese 
people, the edicts, and other events in this line. Our 
conversation was not in the least labored. 

The Empress Dowager again and again assured me 
that such troubles as those of the past two years should 
never be repeated. Her manner was thoughtful, serious 
in every way, and ever mindful of the comfort and pleasure 
of her guests. Her eyes are bright, keen, and watchful 
that nothing may escape her observation. Her face does 
not show marks of cruelty or severity; her voice is low, 
soft, and attractive; her touch is gentle and kind. 



222 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The Empress, the Emperor's wife, was with us before 
we entered the banquet hall. She is young, beautiful, 
and has most attractive, gentle manners. She was richly 
dressed, jewelled, and daintily painted. The Emperor 
was in the banquet hall at times, either sitting or standing. 
He is rather small, with a young, bright face; his eyes 
give expression to his smile. He did not impress me as 
being a frail person. 

When we arose from the table, the Empress Dowager 
said, "I hope that we shall meet oftener and become 
friends by knowing one another better." She passed on 
to the other tables, talked with the ladies and children, 
and then left the room. 

Through beautiful apartments and grounds we were 
escorted to our chairs and, as we passed out from the 
Imperial Court, the gates of the Forbidden City were 
locked behind us. We departed with the same ceremony 
with which we came. This historic day cannot do harm ; 
surely its deeds must have enough of life in them to root, 
to branch, to blossom, and to fruit into strength for the 
nations. After this audience, the Diplomatic Corps 
requested the Chinese Court to present no gifts at future 
audiences. 

There were sharp and bitter criticisms of the ladies' 
acceptance of the Imperial invitation. Individual bitter- 
ness still has its poison and would keep the breach open 
and even widen it if possible ; but national wisdom, through 
peace negotiations, seeks to close the breach. Pressing 
the thorns of sorrow and revenge deeper into our hearts 
will never lessen the sting of the horrible past nor permit 
us to rest in peace. 

These are strange days here in this strange land, but 



CONCERTED ACTION OF NATIONS 223 

they are most interesting and instructive. Never before 
have we been permitted to see so many of the Chinese 
officials as we are this winter. The frequent association, 
socially and politically, brings a better understanding 
between the Chinese and foreigners, but it is going to 
take much patient work and forbearance before they can 
think and act in harmony. 



[To Daughter Laura] 

American Legation, Peking, 
March 16, igo2. 

YOUR letters we look forward to with a love that is 
warm and true. Bless your dear heart! You are always 
doing good — manifesting that Good which never fails. 
God is with us. Love reigns, let the human seeming 
be what it may. 

The siege at Peking, the awful troubles, the fearful 
sacrifices, introduced the different nations of the earth as 
they never had been introduced before, and opened the 
way to a broader knowledge of one another that is big 
with promise. What China and the other nations have 
done during 1900 and 1901 is beyond any human power 
to tell. The wonderful Joint Note, the Protocol, the safe 
returning of the Imperial Court to its undestroyed pal- 
aces, which had been protected and turned over to the 
Chinese Government by foreign troops, all now show 
that the nations did better than they knew. 

Being Dean of the ladies of the Diplomatic Corps, 
I was brought in close contact with the Empress Dow- 
ager at the audiences given to the ladies. I have not 
written to you of the second audience, February twenty- 



224 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

seventh. While much of it was like the first in ceremony, 
there was much that was not formal; our visit was de- 
lightful and full of womanly significance. The foreign 
Ministers requested that no presents be given to the 
ladies by the Court. The Empress Dowager, after sit- 
ting with us at their bountifully spread table, took us 
into her own apartments. When we were taken into the 
most private room, Her Majesty seemed greatly pleased 
and waved her hand toward a richly draped and cush- 
ioned k'ang that reached across one end of the long room. 
At the back of the k'ang there was a shelf filled with beau- 
tiful jade and other ornaments, and seven rather small 
clocks, all running. At the end of the k'ang was another 
shelf on which were dishes of fruit. Her Majesty got 
upon the Vang and motioned for me and others to do the 
same. She took a small jade baby boy from the shelf, 
tucked it into my hand, and with actions interpreted her 
unspoken words, " Don't tell." I took the dear little 
thing home, and I prize it. It showed good will, and I 
do not intend to let go of that thought. We drank 
tea and chatted informally. I must tell you right here 
that the Empress Dowager is learning English. I will 
have to explain how when you are with us. I knew 
this before we went, and strove all the while to detect her 
efforts and to acknowledge them. After the audience 
was over and we were quiet in our dear home of comfort, 
I was truly grateful that I could see the good spirit mani- 
fested in that woman whom the world has so bitterly 
condemned. 

Your father and I talked the situation over, and I 
said that I believed I should and could return the com- 
pliment of the Court in a simple way acceptable to the 



TIFFIN TO PRINCESSES 225 

Empress Dowager and the high officials. It has occurred 
to me that I could invite the Court Princesses to a 
tiffin. He said that it would do no harm to try, and told 
me to consult Lien Fang, who could present the matter 
to Prince Ch'ing, and that he in turn could see the 
Empress Dowager and ascertain her position before I 
issued my invitations. They seemed greatly pleased, 
and I sent back word for them to please make the selec- 
tion of the Princesses, and send a list of names according 
to rank. This they did. The day was set, and invita- 
tions were sent out. I will not write their names, as 
that would not make you any wiser, but I will tell you 
who they are: the Empress Dowager's adopted daugh- 
ter, the Imperial Princess, the Empress Dowager's niece, 
who is a sister of the Empress, Prince Ch'ing' s two wives 
and three daughters; the granddaughter of Prince Kung, 
Prince Ch'ing's son's wife, a lady who had married into 
the "order," but is a widow, and the little Chinese Court 
interpreter; these were our "honorable Chinese guests." 
There were eleven of them. I wanted this tiffin to be 
the very best that I could make it and the house to look 
its best. Our servants one and all entered into the spirit 
of the occasion. I told Wang that I wanted flowers, 
flowers, flowers everywhere. The little potted trees 
filled full of red and white buds and blossoms came into 
the compound in processions. We placed some in cool, 
dark rooms and some in the warm sunshine. When 
needed, they were aglow with living smiles in abundance, 
to welcome the Princesses who love them. They are 
all potted in decorated porcelain jardinieres, and so were 
the large palms that were placed here and there through 
the rooms. Some of the flowers were banked, while 



226 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

others stood alone singing their praises. No one can 
appreciate these dwarf flower-trees without seeing them. 
You really want to talk to them. The patient, gentle 
Chinese thought makes them do just what they desire 
them to do. The Chinese change them from one pot to 
another when in bud or in blossom and the plants do not 
bow their heads or look hurt, but keep their beauty and 
smile right on. 

We hung on the wall the banner that the Empress 
Dowager painted and gave to me. We also hung fine 
Chinese embroideries showing that we appreciated their 
beautiful, choice work. The rooms were very pretty 
when ready for the Imperial ladies. The large dining- 
room had its long table stretched to its utmost. Flowers 
arranged low reached its entire length. The decora- 
tions were in dark pink and green. We had red menu 
cards, as red is the Princesses' color. The plate cards 
were in red Chinese characters. I invited all the ladies 
in the American Legation and army post to assist at this 
tiffin, and one lady from each American mission to assist 
as interpreters and otherwise. They entered most en- 
thusiastically into the spirit of entertaining these Court 
ladies, the highest in China with the exception of Their 
Majesties. There were eleven Chinese and eleven Ameri- 
cans present. The Americans came early and had their 
parts assigned. Each knew how to receive the Chinese 
ladies and how to go to the table; each had her number 
and knew just where to fall in line. Promptly at half- 
past twelve o'clock the procession entered the American 
Compound. The yellow Imperial chair, with gold knob, 
came first with the Imperial Princess, then followed the 
red chairs bearing the other Princesses, then green chairs 



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TOASTS TO CHINA'S RULERS 227 

with others of lesser rank. The third daughter of Prince 
Ch'ing was in a red Princess' cart and the " little inter- 
preter " was in an official cart. What a sight! The 
compound was full. The yellow chair came to the 
door and I stepped out to receive the Imperial Princess, 
whom I had seen twice before. I took her hand 
and we walked into the house. The others followed 
according to rank. Each Princess had with her eight 
eunuchs and there were several minor officials in attend- 
ance. Aside from the officials and eunuchs, there were 
nine bearers to each chair. 

My missionary assistants were most proficient, and ere 
long had indicated to each American the Princess whom 
she was to escort to the table. We had tea, after which 
I took the hand of the Imperial Princess and led the way 
to the dining-room, the others falling at once into line. 
When in our places at table and while standing, I said, 
"Let us lift our glasses filled to the brim with the best of 
good wishes for the health and happiness of the Emperor, 
the Empress Dowager, and Empress of China and to the 
prosperity of their people. May China and America con- 
tinue in their friendly relations!" Mrs. Gattrel at once 
interpreted my words. Then the Imperial Princess 
without hesitation said, "I bring the greetings of the 
Empress Dowager herself to this company, and she 
hopes that the pleasant relations that now exist between 
America and China will always continue as they now are. ' ' 

We were seated. The little Chinese interpreter did 
not seat herself with the others, but stood behind the 
Imperial Princess' chair during the toasts. Then, cour- 
tesying and bowing low to her, she passed to each Chinese 
lady in the same manner. All recognized her, and she 



228 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

then was seated. As she did not rank with these ladies, 
she asked permission to sit with them. The Chinese 
are taught etiquette from their earliest childhood. Their 
grace of manner, gentleness, politeness, and respect are 
most beautiful and attractive. 

The Chinese ladies, without apparently doing so, 
watched every movement and used fork, knife, or spoon 
as I used them. They surprised us with the ease with 
which they handled knives and forks for the first time 
in their lives. We had five interpreters at the table, 
so our conversation did not lag. We arose and left the 
table as we came to it. Eunuchs were standing about 
and many were in the drawing-room ready at all times 
to serve the ladies. We served tea, played duets on the 
piano, sang, and looked at pictures. I had two baby 
pictures, and the ladies looked lovingly upon them and 
asked if I had more. I wish that you would get little 
fancy pictures of babies and children and send them. 
We talked, drank more tea, and then came the good-byes. 
I escorted the Imperial Princess to her chair, sent a happy 
message to the Empress Dowager, and recognized the 
others as they passed. And so the grand procession 
passed from under the American flag and into the streets 
of the Dragon flag. Chinese soldiers were stationed 
about the gate and to the east. Many hundreds of sol- 
diers, with heads bowed, were standing along the route 
to the ladies' homes, and all Chinese were kept from the 
streets through which the procession passed, but thou- 
sands were standing elsewhere enjoying the sight. 

Some of these first ladies of China had never seen 
foreign ladies before; the others had seen them only at 
audiences given by the Empress Dowager. These 



THE MANCHU PRINCESSES 229 

Princesses brought four hundred and eighty-one servants 
with them including the sixty soldiers at the gate. The 
higher the person in rank, the more servants he brings. 

Your father gave a dinner the other night to Prince 
Ch'ing and the other highest officials of the Court. They 
brought two hundred and thirty-two servants. This 
was the first large dinner given in Peking by a foreign 
Minister, or any foreigner, to the highest officials. They 
were a happy, dignified body. 

After the wonderful return of the Court in peace, the 
Empress Dowager opened the doors of the Palace, invited 
us in, and we accepted the invitation. Why should we not 
return the compliment ? When this tiffin was over — and 
it was pronounced a complete success — I was truly grate- 
ful. If the Empress Dowager and the husbands had not 
consented, the ladies could not have come to my home. 
Their acceptance was a wonderful departure from old cus- 
toms. These ladies are all Manchus. They wear their 
hair extended at the sides with rich, elaborate hair decora- 
tions. Their hair is black, heavy, long, and combed with 
greatest accuracy. Their faces are painted white and pink, 
with a red spot on the lower lip. They wore many jewels 
and gold jewelled finger shields for the protection of their 
long nails. Their gowns were most exquisite in texture, 
embroidery, and coloring. These ladies formed a beauti- 
ful picture. I cannot give it to you as I saw it there and 
shall always see it. Photographs of these Princesses in 
black and white would not fairly represent them. I am a 
great admirer of the Chinese costumes both for ladies and 
gentlemen. 

After the ladies had gone, Wang came to us all smiles 
and said, " Might stay hundred year, never see like this. 



2 3 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Servants come from all Legations to see who come. The 
front gate and street blocked against Chinese. They 
all come back way. They say to me, 'You see ladies? 
You wait on them?'" He laughed and said, "They 
think very great; all eunuchs serve big ladies. No like 
this ever before." I had five house-boys in uniform 
serving, and they looked well and did well. They were 
delighted over their unheard-of privilege in seeing these 
ladies. 

My dear girl, I bow my head low in most earnest prayer 
that love and love's wisdom may be revealed to me in all 
my intercourse with the Chinese, as well as with the other 
nationalities, and with my own dear people. 



[To My Laura] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
March 25, 1902. 
OUR people are insane about coming to Peking, yes, 
insane to get to Peking and see. They reason like this: 
The American Legation is there; the American army is 
there; it is safe to go, and we shall be protected. Many 
come to your father with letters and some without. 
Public accommodations are literally nothing for taking 
care of visitors. In this country women, travelling unpro- 
tected or without an escort, are considered the lowest of 
the low. If people travel, it is wise to comply with the 
customs of propriety. To illustrate this point: Before 
my return, when your father was here alone, Wang came 
to him one night saying, "Mr. Minister, lady at door 
wishes to see you." Mr. Conger replied, "Invite her in, 
and I will see her." 



AN UNESCORTED VISITOR 231 

"What can I do for you?" was his greeting. She 
was an American, and had come from the train, bag 
in hand. How did she get here ? She introduced herself 

as Mrs. and said, "My father and you were young 

men friends. I often hear him speak of you. I wished 
to visit Peking, but my friends would not come farther 
than Japan. Knowing that you knew my father, I 
came without them." 

Mr. Conger asked her for her father's card or a letter 
from him. She had none! He kindly explained the 
situation, and rebuked her for coming to a strange land 
unprotected and without credentials of any kind. He 
told her that he was alone and could not take her into his 
home, but that he would send his boy Wang with her to 
the best inn for the night. Wang returned and said, 
"Very bad! No proper place for lady!" Your father 
meditated. "This woman may be all right — she looks 
it. What if my daughter was in a strange land unpro- 
tected?" The battle was fought. He went to Mrs. 
Bainbridge, the Secretary's wife in the Legation, and pre- 
sented the case, asking if she could take this woman for 
the night. A bed was made on the sofa. Wang went 
for the woman; she returned with him and was saved. 
Later it was proved that her statements were true. This 
is only one of the demands of attention in this line. Your 
father's good judgment guides him through the little 
waters as well as the greater ones. 

After our tiffin to the Princesses, they sent an invi- 
tation to the same eleven Americans and to Mrs. Uchida, 
the Japanese Minister's wife, to tiffin with them. We 
made arrangements for all to go together and went in 
chairs, carts, and on ponies. There were six chairs with 



232 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

eight bearers each, seven carts with their escorts, and 
each lady had two or three outriders and two or three 
amahs. We had nearly one hundred servants, but we 
were obliged to have them in order to conform to Chinese 
custom. The Princesses had four hundred and eighty-one 
servants when they came to our tiffin. Well, we got there ! 
The Princesses met us in the court and welcomed us 
most graciously. We have met these ladies now four 
times and feel quite well acquainted. Each took one of 
us by the hand, escorted us into the house, and tea was 
served. We had not been there long before two eunuchs 
entered, each with a pretty new basket with red satin 
pad upon which was a beautiful little black dog. Around 
the neck of each was a rich collar with gold bells, tassels, 
and other ornaments in most fanciful arrangement; 
there was also, for each dog, a gold-mounted harness with 
a long silk cord and gold hook. One little dog was 
placed in my lap and the other in Mrs. Uchida's and we 
were told that the Empress Dowager had sent them to us. 
I have been wanting one of these dogs ever since my 
return, and to think of its coming in this way! I was 
delighted. He is a bright little fellow, full of life, not at 
all afraid, and he now rules the household. 

I had not been long rejoicing over my dog when I was 
asked to see the feast that the Empress Dowager had sent 
to me. I stepped forward, admired, and expressed my 
appreciation. There were six decorated yellow boxes 
filled with Chinese candies, candied fruit, and other 
Chinese sweets. They looked beautiful; when I reached 
home I found them awaiting me. After mine were taken 
away more were brought for Mrs. Uchida. Tea was 
again served r then we were invited to the dining- 



NEW CUSTOMS FOR OLD 2 33 

room. Each Chinese lady escorted a foreign lady. 
How I wish you could see these living pictures! Be- 
fore we were seated, the Imperial Princess lifted her glass 
of wine and read a toast to us. Those of our party most 
conversant with Chinese said that the characters used 
were in the best style of Mandarin. A young Chinese 
girl translated it into English and I replied for the foreign 
ladies. We were seated, and good cheer, lively conversa- 
tion, the Princesses in their rich clothing, their dainty 
ways and graces, made the day glow with enjoyable 
beauty. I am truly grateful to have this little knowledge 
of the inner lives of these strange yet attractive people. 
It is best to pause before we condemn people of whom 
we know little. We visited in a friendly way until nearly 
three o'clock, then we took our departure. Each Chinese 
lady had learned to say " Good-bye,' ' and laughingly, 
distinctly uttered the words. 

We returned home feeling better for having visited 
with the Imperial Princess and the other Princesses of the 
Chinese Court. You remember who told me to nourish 
every little tendril of kindness that it might grow strong. 

Your father and I often take our rides together over 
the places so familiar to you and Mary. But these places 
seem to be losing their old customs and putting on new 
ones. Where are the five thousand camels and their 
masters which were bringing coal into Peking before the 
troubles of 1900? In our rides these days we never see 
them. The men and animals are gone. It takes manage- 
ment to get our supply of coal now. Fuel is scarce and 
expensive, and so is everything. We miss our dear girls 
at every turn, but the joys in their wedded lives cancel 
all our selfish regrets. 



234 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Peking, May g, igo2. 
Dear Mrs. Conger: 

A LETTER has come from Mrs. asking me to 

answer some questions in regard to your attitude toward 
the Empress Dowager. I enclose the part of her letter 
in which she asks these questions. Will you please tell 
me just how you would like to have them answered ? Or 
perhaps you prefer to answer them yourself. I feel that 
it is necessary to give Mrs. as correct an idea as pos- 
sible of the whole affair as she reaches a great number of 
our thinking women through her paper. She had, unfor- 
tunately, heard only the newspaper criticisms before she 
came to Peking, but she seemed very glad to get all the 
light that she could, and the broader, truer view. I think 
it will be necessary to mail a letter to her to-morrow, if it 
reaches her before she leaves Korea. A boat leaves on 
Monday and not another for two weeks. 

If I did not think that this would do a great deal of 
good, I should be sorry to add to your many duties. 

Most sincerely, 

Maud Mackey. 

The part of the letter enclosed and referred to above 
is as follows: 

"Send me a note to Seoul, Korea, before end of May. 
I may use it in print. Mrs. Conger's party: (a) Was it a 
luncheon? (b) What is the foundation for newspaper 
reports that Dowager wept on neck of Mrs. Conger? 
(c) Can you get for me copy of Mrs. Conger's speech on 
that occasion? (d) and substance of what Empress 
said ? (e) Has there been an interchange of social cour- 
tesies since party No. 3, when Imperial Princesses re- 



RESUME OF MANY MATTERS 235 

ceived ? (f ) Was hers a luncheon, or reception, or what ? 
I am sorry that I was not more awake on this subject when 
in Peking, so as to get satisfactory data in case it seems 
best to send a brief article home. I find myself half 
inclined to write in advocacy of Mrs. Conger's cause, 
though when I first heard of it, I was quite of another 
opinion." 



American Legation, Peking, 
May 10, 1902. 
Dear Dr. Mackey: 

IN answer to your letter of the ninth I will say, there 
is so much connected with what has passed and with the 
steps that led to the events mentioned that a statement 
of a few facts will signify but little. For the sake of the 
reading public, I often regret the remarks and criticisms 
of the press, because they are many times misleading. If 
the opportunity had been given me, I should have been 
pleased to talk with your friend about the different phases 
of Chinese character with which I have come in contact. 
I am willing to answer your friend's questions, as I do not 
see that they could do any harm and, on the other hand, 
but little good, as they signify so little. 

(a) I gave a "tiffin" (mid-day meal) to eleven Court 
Princesses. It was the first time that any of these ladies 
had ever entered a foreign home, and several of them had 
never before seen a foreign lady. It was an historic day 
and the details are intensely interesting. 

(b) The Empress Dowager did not weep upon my 
neck. After a dignified ceremony in the throne building, 
we were invited to a reception room. Her Majesty asked 



236 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

for Mrs. Conger and I was escorted to her. She took 
both my hands in hers and said with emotion that she 
deeply regretted the terrible troubles and our great suffer- 
ing during the siege. She said that it was a great mistake, 
and that it should never happen again. She declared that 
the foreigners should henceforth be protected in China. 
There was nothing said by either of us about forgiving 
and forgetting. Her Majesty's manner in the banquet 
hall was dignified and earnest and our conversation was 
full of interest and instruction for me. I was seated for 
more than an hour with Her Majesty and was astonished 
and pleased with her varied conversation and courtesies. 
The details in a picture enhance its beauty and value, 
so did the details add to this event. I cannot write them 
— they are better told. 

(c) Enclosed please find a copy of what I said at the 
first Imperial audience given by the Empress Dowager 
to the Diplomatic ladies after the Court's return, (d) also 
Her Majesty's reply, (e) There have been interchanges 
of social courtesies since the Imperial Princess received, 
(f) It was an elaborate luncheon and the Imperial Prin- 
cess was assisted by many Princesses. 

I have been living among these Chinese people for 
nearly four years and have tried to learn about them and 
from them. While there is much that I find undesirable, 
I also find in their characters much to admire. That I 
might learn of the home life of the better classes, I have 
patiently and carefully watched to discover and improve 
opportunities to enter every door that opened to me. 

My feelings and actions toward Her Majesty and her 
people I have reason to believe are well taken. I would 
not make the breach wider between the Chinese and the 



FOREIGNERS AND CHINA 237 

foreigners. I should like much to have the Chinese see 
the better side of the Christian nations. Would that we 
had the Christ-spirit so rooted in our hearts that we could 
forgive and forget! Then, we should lessen heavy bur- 
dens instead of increasing them. True, the past records 
dark, awful days in China, but what do we gain by hugging 
tightly the poisonous thorns of revenge? The detailed 
story of the foreigner and the Chinese is a long one. Can 
the foreigner " throw the first stone' ' ? Surely this is not 
a one-sided relationship. All the nations will have to 
repent, forgive, and labor patiently if they would become 
friends with China. The wonderful Joint Note carried 
out in the detailed Protocol gives a pledge that they will 
be friends. It is hoped that China and all the nations 
will prove their sincerity. 

I trust that I have answered these questions in such a 
way as to serve the purpose of your friend. 



[To Our Daughter Laura] 

American Legation, Peking, 
October 3, IQ02. 

I KNOW of your deep interest in what takes place 
here in Peking, hence I write to you of the many things 
that come to us. I feel assured that you do not weary of 
hearing about the audiences and the part your father and 
mother take in them. All have the same regular forms, 
yet each has its own individuality. 

Our last audience was at the Summer Palace, which 
you will remember is twelve miles distant. This audience 
had its marked departures, and of these I am going to 
write you. We all started in our sedan chairs with the 



238 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

usual escorts and the usual form. The roads had been 
levelled and spread with yellow soil for the recent use of 
the Court. The morning was fine, and we started with 
our long procession at eight o'clock. Although our 
cavalcade of chairs, carts of coolies as relays, mounted 
men, and hosts of escorts, passed through streets mas- 
sively lined on either side with people, everything was 
quiet and scarcely a sound was heard. "The city of the 
blue gown" had turned out its common people in their 
clean clothes and bright colors to see. Each seemed 
intent on what he saw. To me there is a fascination in 
these street scenes, and they furnish me many topics of 
thought as I pass on alone in my little house, shut away 
from their touch. I look through my curtained windows 
and see it all. 

After leaving the city gate we passed through a beau- 
tiful avenue of large trees along the east side of the Im- 
perial Canal. A two-hours' ride in our chairs brought 
us to an Imperial temple. Here we were received by 
Chinese officials and escorted to Her Majesty's furnished 
apartments to rest, sip tea, and partake of other refresh- 
ments. We remained here about twenty minutes and 
then were conducted to the Canal, where there were a 
steam launch and seven artistically decorated Imperial 
house-boats. There were tables lavishly spread with 
Chinese food, fruits, wines, and sweets. Tea. was again 
served, and the other refreshments were passed. The 
Dean and other gentlemen were taken by the officials to 
a boat by themselves. The Ministers' wives and those 
highest in rank were asked to enter Her Majesty's private 
boat. This boat took the lead. We were attentively 
served and everything was harmonious. It was a beauti- 




Camel-back Bridge 
Marble Bridge and Pavilion at the Summer Palace 



THE SUMMER PALACE 239 

ful sight as these many boats with their brilliant colorings, 
flags and streamers waving, passed in and out of the many 
turnings of the watercourse. There were thousands of 
Chinese following, on either bank, curious to see, and yet 
the utmost order prevailed. It was a noiseless procession. 
Mounted soldiers were on the banks attending us until 
we passed under the Court's white marble "camel-back" 
bridge. 

Our "fleet" sailed through the Water Gate under this 
arched bridge, and we were in the crystal waters of the 
Summer Palace Lake. How beautiful! We passed on 
and on, feasting upon the fairy scenes of dreamland. It 
all seems unreal, fanciful. We saw the island, with its 
high rocks, glistening yellow tiled roofs, grottoes, marble 
terraces with their white, carved marble balustrades, large 
bronze statues, and gardens with flowering shrubs and 
spreading trees. We passed near the historic seventeen- 
arched white marble bridge, which reaches from the 
island to the eastern shore, where there are a large pavilion 
and the famous bronze cow. Still on we went, taking in 
the varied scenes peculiar to China's imperialism. We 
approached a wonderful shore. The midday sun was 
shining upon the bright colorings. The white marble 
wall with its carved balustrades, the Chinese officials in 
their Court uniforms, helpers dressed according to rank, 
and hundreds of eunuchs, all combined to form one of the 
most remarkable pictures that I ever beheld. 

I will not repeat in this letter the story of our recep- 
tion at the throne, of the feast, and of the walks. I will 
take up the thread where the Empress Dowager, the 
Emperor, Empress, Princesses, and foreign ladies entered 
the Imperial boats and sailed over to the island. Her 



2 4 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Majesty and all were most gracious to us. When we 
had landed, climbed the high steps, and reached the 
broad veranda, the Empress Dowager stepped to the 
marble balustrade and looking upon the wonderful scene 
stretched out before her, spoke my name. I went to her 
and she took my hand in both of hers. Looking at the 
scenes about us and beyond us, she said, in a tender, 
thoughtful way, "Is it not beautiful?" I never saw 
anything like it; it was beautiful! It was a brilliant 
scene. The clear water about us; the fleet of Oriental 
boats, with Her Majesty's flags and streamers flying; 
the bluffy shore opposite, bedecked with its Imperial 
Oriental architecture and colorings; the beautiful flowers, 
and the gardens, all combined their extravagant beauty 
to gladden the eye and warm the heart. As a whole it 
was wonderful; in its detail, still more wonderful. 

We were served tea and refreshments, then we took 
our departure. The Empress Dowager, the Emperor, 
the Empress, the Princesses, and the Court attendants 
came out upon the high terrace and watched us as we 
left. Their colorings are so dainty, and yet often so bold 
in their harmony, that no photograph or painting can do 
Chinese costumes or Chinese decorations even a partial 
justice. 

We passed on and on in the Imperial boats, under 
the camel-back bridge, and out of the beautiful lake of 
the Summer Palace, taking with us the remembrance of 
a happy day. Would that our dear Laura could have 
been with us! 



A DISTINGUISHED SCHOLAR 241 

[To Miss Pethick] 

Peking, November 13, 1Q02. 

TO your letter of inquiry about your brother, whom 
we hold in the highest esteem, respect, and admiration, I 
respond with sad pleasure. He was among the first 
Americans in Peking who won their way into our hearts. 
His strong mind was stored with most valuable infor- 
mation, which was dressed in the graces of culture and 
modest refinement. We loved your brother, and so did 
all of his many friends. While he was a true friend 
to the people of his own country and to the Chinese, 
he was also a true friend to every nation here repre- 
sented. Each and all turned to him, and he re- 
sponded, but never in disloyalty. He knew the Chinese 
and their customs. He was Li Hung Chang's secretary 
for many years; he knew their language, and dug deep 
into Chinese knotty traditions. 

I would sometimes say, "Oh, Mr. Pethick, that looks 
very bad!" just to hear him reprove in his gentle way, 
"You do not quite understand." Then he would quietly 
explain to me, and it was always a joy to listen. I often 
took a piece of embroidery, cloisonne, brass, or porce- 
lain, and asked him to read what it said. Every leaf, 
flower, fruit, animal, insect, in fact everything has its 
hidden meaning in Chinese art. He had studied these 
meanings, and willingly gave them to others, for they 
were much to him in their unbroken story. Through 
him I learned much of the Chinese character, and through 
his illuminated thoughts I could see much to admire. 
His disappointment in the Chinese, and his active work 
during the late troubles, seemed to wear upon him. 



242 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

He had lived a quiet physical life for years, and when 
the siege was upon us he did not spare himself in any 
way. His knowledge of the Chinese language and peo- 
ple called him on duty beyond the strength of a stronger 
man. We did not realize this, as all were doing their 
best. Many fell during the siege, and many fell later. 
He was never well after those awful days. He did not 
seem to rally permanently, and each relapse added to 
his sufferings. His Chinese servants had been with him 
long, and were the kindest of the kind. During the last 
weeks of his illness army nurses were with him, admin- 
istering to his needs. He did not seem to be a constant 
sufferer; the last of his earthly hours were spent in quiet. 
He was laid in a foreign casket and brought to our 
home in the American Legation, where services were 
held. The offerings of flowers by friends were beau- 
tiful and bountiful. The rooms were filled with his friends, 
and loving hands tenderly placed him in his last earthly 
bed, covered him over, and left behind them a mound of 
rich, beautiful flowers. 



[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
January g, 1903. 
I AM going to tell you a little about our visit from 
General and Mrs. Miles, and their party of nine. Mr. 
Coolidge, Captain Brewster, and ourselves had the pleas- 
ure of entertaining them. They were so enthusiastic over 
what they saw and what was done, that it was a growing 
pleasure to keep doing for them. Your father and I 
gave three dinners, of twenty-two plates each, in their 



OFFICIALS MEET GEN. MILES 243 

honor. One was for General Miles to meet the Chinese 
high officials. This dinner was at five o'clock, as the 
Chinese do not like our late banquets. All the highest 
officials were here. We ladies, by invitation, went over 
to Mr. Coolidge's for five o'clock tea. He had to be at 
the dinner, but he invited others to be with us, and asked 
me to preside at the tea table. Mr. Coolidge's home is 
beautifully repaired, arranged, and furnished. He has 
excellent taste, and his wealth serves him in a quiet way. 
At this tea party the house was lighted in an artistic 
manner. Mr. Coolidge works for the interest of the 
Legation; he is an American through and through. 

When the guests were about to leave the dining-room, 
Mr. Coolidge came over with the message from your 
father that if we would like to meet the Chinese officials, 
we might be in the drawing-room when they returned 
from the dinner. There was no doubt in our minds, 
I assure you. We were in time to hear the toasts, which 
we greatly enjoyed. Both Chinese and Americans were 
at their best, and strong thoughts, as well as compli- 
mentary ones, were given in a dignified, pleasing manner. 
Prince Ch'ing, General Miles, and your father did the 
toast-making; your father, of course, speaking first. 
We were greatly pleased to hear through the open doors 
these pointed speeches and sparkling jokes, that all 
seemed to enjoy together. We received the gentlemen 
in the drawing-room, when they entered; but we re- 
mained only a short time and then withdrew. At eight- 
fifteen all had taken their departure, and we ladies, in 
company with General Miles, Colonel Maus, and your 
father, sat down to our dinner. The table had been 
prepared anew for us in its proper size. Every one seemed 



244 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

surprised over the work that was going on while there 
was so much to be done. There was no confusion what- 
ever. Our floral decorations were truly fine, on the 
table and in our rooms. The chrysanthemums were 
in their glory. The colors of flowers were changed at 
each dinner, as were also the table embroideries. The 
first dinner was in white and green; the second in pink 
and green; the third in yellow and green. How I did 
wish that Fred ai.d Laura could step in with their en- 
couraging approval! 

Your father asked for two private audiences at 
Court, one for General Miles and one for Mrs. Miles. 
Both were granted. The gentlemen were received on 
the twenty-seventh. We were proud of our American 
men, as they came together and started for the Palace, 
The ladies' audience followed on the twenty-eighth. 
There were ten in our party, including my private in- 
terpreter, whom I had permission from Her Majesty 
to bring. Mounted Chinese officials were sent as our 
escorts. At ten-thirty, the escorts taking the lead, ten 
chairs started from our Legation, with our private 
mounted attendants. In this private audience every 
attention was shown us by Chinese officials that the 
public audiences of the nations receive. After we were 
presented by your father to Their Majesties on the throne, 
we followed them into a reception room where tea was 
served and we were permitted to visit informally with 
the Empress Dowager and to meet the Empress and the 
Princesses. Her Majesty talks freely, but the Emperor 
says nothing. We were next escorted by Princesses 
and eunuchs to Her Majesty's private reception rooms, 
which are large and richly furnished with Chinese 
treasures. Their Majesties occupy that part of the For- 



AUDIENCES TO FOREIGNERS 245 

bidden City to the east that the foreigners never entered 
while they had it in charge. Here we had a visit with 
the young Empress, the Princesses, and the bride of the 
Emperor's brother. This young lady is the daughter of 
Jung Lu. After again drinking tea we were escorted 
through another court to a feast room. Princesses and 
guests were seated at tables. I sat at the Imperial 
Princess' right, Mrs. Miles at my right. Shortly the 
Emperor and the Empress Dowager entered; all arose. 
Imperial chairs were brought for Their Majesties, and 
all were asked to be seated. We sat over an hour and had 
a feast of conversation. The Empress Dowager spoke 
very highly of your father, of our Government, of General 
Chaffee, and of our soldiers. Her knowledge of what 
had been done surprised me. After talking with her 
head eunuch she said, "I am having prepared a scroll for 
each lady present and I will write upon them the char- 
acters l Long Life' and ' Happiness. ' " We then re- 
turned to her reception room, where she stood by a table 
and wrote these characters with a master hand. When 
she had finished her eighteenth scroll she sat down in a 
yellow chair and other chairs were brought for her guests. 
Tea was then served. After a few more words we took 
our departure, feeling satisfied that we had spent a profit- 
able and happy day. This private audience was the 
first ever granted foreign ladies. Do you note the de- 
parture from old-time customs and the opening, little 
by little, of the locked doors? I detect and appreciate 
it as Mrs. Miles or any newcomer cannot. Her Majesty 
sent to Mrs. Miles and Mrs. Maus other gifts, and a 
" feast" for their long journey. Above all else we appre- 
ciated and prized our scrolls, written by Her Majesty's 
own hand and placed in ours. 



246 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

On Tuesday morning General Miles and his party 
left us and started on their long trip through Siberia. 

Thursday was New Year's Day. We received as 
usual, and it was a full, full day. During the morning 
the Legation corps of Chinese servants paid their respects. 
Callers began to come early after tiffin, and continued 
late. The new year, with its many duties, has begun 
in earnest. First of all I have been writing letters and 
letters, as I am acknowledging our Christmas gifts. 
Laura's yellow pillow graces the centre of the largest 
sofa in the drawing-room; it is a beauty and has 
received many compliments. Your father and mother 
have read their books together, with loving thoughts 
of their two dear children. The rug-man brought two 
large pine trees in hand-painted porcelain pots. The 
trees were elaborately decorated with beautiful silk, 
satin, and velvet flowers and butterflies of different kinds. 
They were beauties, and stood ten feet high, welcoming 
us in their bright colors. I knew nothing of this gift 
until Christmas morning. This was his expression of 
gratitude for what we had done for him after the siege. 
Hidden in the depths of gratitude there is always a 
treasure. 

[To Our Daughter Laura] 

American Legation, Peking, 
June 20, 1903. 
THIS date is one we all remember. Only think! 
Three years have passed since the awful siege days, during 
which great national and personal events have been written 
on memory's pages. What wonderful heart- joys have 
come to you and to us! Surely, sincere gratitude is ours. 





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ADMIRAL EVANS AT AUDIENCE 247 

You left your father's home in 1901 to make a new home 
with another. And now, in 1903, you bring a joyous 
promise into your life and into ours — a little daughter and 
granddaughter! The cablegram, "Girl," stirred anew 
the fountains of love. Our message, "Love, congratula- 
tions," flew on electric wings back to you. We welcome 
our little granddaughter with open arms and full hearts. 

Now, turning our thoughts to Peking, I will write 
some of our late experiences. First I want to tell you of 
two private audiences given by Their Majesties. 
Admiral Evans, his staff, wife, and other ladies, came to 
Peking and we had a most delightful visit with them. 
Father asked for two Imperial audiences, one for gentle- 
men and one for ladies. His request was granted, and 
June fourteenth and fifteenth were set apart. The re- 
ception of the gentlemen by Their Majesties was ceremo- 
nious; that by the officials was most cordial. Both the 
dignity of Their Majesties and the cordiality of the 
officials met with the sincere appreciation of their Ameri- 
can guests. On the fifteenth the ladies were received, 
and a happier, brighter day Her Majesty has never given 
to us. Crowning the Imperial graces was the womanly 
tenderness that bade us draw near to her. At an oppor- 
tune moment Her Majesty congratulated me most heart- 
ily upon the coming of my little granddaughter. It was 
through Lady Yii that the Empress Dowager learned of 
the great joy that had come to us. 

For many months I had been indignant over the 
horrible, unjust caricatures of Her Imperial Majesty in 
illustrated papers, and with a growing desire that the 
world might see her more as she really is, I had conceived 
the idea of asking her Majesty's permission to speak with 



248 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

her upon the subject of having her portrait painted. I 
had written to the artist, Miss Carl, and found that she 
was willing to cooperate with me. The day of the au- 
dience seemed to be the golden opportunity for me to 
speak. With intense love for womankind, and in justice 
to this Imperial woman, I presented my subject without 
a doubt or a fear. Her Majesty listened, was interested, 
and with a woman's heart conversed with me. As the 
result of this conversation, the Empress Dowager gave 
consent to allow her Imperial portrait to be painted by an 
American lady artist for the St. Louis Exposition. The 
work is to begin in August. Only think of it! That this 
portrait may present to the outside world even a little of 
the true expression and character of this misrepresented 
woman, is my most earnest wish. I do not, my dear girl, 
forget the dark days of the siege, the sufferings, the blood- 
shed, the sorrows; but I would not have this darkness 
bury in oblivion all the bright rays of sunshine. I have 
most earnestly wished that our home people could see Her 
Majesty as I have many times seen her. I well know 
that these departures are testing, but I always feel that 
the Empress Dowager can meet them successfully. Her 
intuitive ability to perceive and conceive is not easy to 
surpass, nor even equal, by man or woman. 

Laura dear, I write very plainly to you because you 
will understand your mother. I am a seeker in China, 
and am interested in Chinese productions. I recognize 
their beauty, then I wish to know something of the people 
who produced them. The search is a delightful one, 
and I am rewarded with more than " crumbs.' ' 

The number of Chinese homes receiving us is increas- 
ing, and many hidden things are revealed to us. While 



ANCESTRAL HALLS 249 

visiting the delightful home of Duke Jung, and being 
cordially entertained by the attractive ladies, we were 
taken into and through the ancestral halls of this noted 
family. It is not a usual thing for guests to be invited to 
enter Chinese ancestral halls. The fact that we were in- 
vited to enter this sacred place revealed the hostess' desire 
to interest and please us. We were led through artistic 
courts, with the pleasure-giving flowers, lakes, summer 
houses, rustic bridges, rockeries, and gardens; we ascended 
a covered walk with balustrades on each side. This entire 
passageway was most artistically painted with the bright 
colors that the Chinese know so well how to blend for 
the richest effects. At the end of the walk we came to the 
veranda which leads to the ancestral halls. 

The steward of the palace went ahead with the key. 
We followed with the ladies of the household. When 
the great doors were opened, we quietly entered. The 
ladies bowed low. Directly in front of us was an elabo- 
rately carved turtle, on which stood a facsimile of an Im- 
perial palace. It was about five feet long and four feet 
high, covered with yellow tiles, such as are seen on the 
Imperial buildings. The decorations of lions' heads and 
rampant dragons were such as we had so often seen in the 
Court Palace. The marble steps leading up to this 
miniature building, the red lacquered pillars, the elabo- 
rate carving on doors and windows, were all in their man- 
made perfection. 

The doors of this miniature palace stood open; and 
inside, facing the doors, was a carved throne upholstered 
in yellow satin, and on the throne stood the tablet of their 
great ancestor, The Empress of Ch'ien Lung. We were 
told that the Emperors of China being the sons of Heaven, 



250 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

none of their posterity were worthy to worship them ex- 
cept their successors to the Throne; hence the Emperor 
Ch'ien Lung's tablet was not in their ancestral halls. 
Besides this miniature Imperial palace there were four 
green-tiled and purple-tiled palaces, indicating ranks in 
multiplied details. While the story of the Imperial Prince, 
and the " iron-capped/' or hereditary, Prince, is of 
marked interest, I shall not tarry here to tell you of them. 
Down through the generations from the days of Ch'ien 
Lung (i 736-1 796) to the father of the present Duke these 
tablets have been preserved and worshipped. In each of 
these miniature palaces is placed the tablet of the father 
and mother, except in the first Imperial palace, which held 
the mother's tablet only. Before each shrine stood an 
incense-burner, cup of burning oil, candles, and the 
various symbols used in worship. 

On the floor were satin-covered cushions, on which 
the worshippers knelt when offering sacrifice. The 
anniversary of birth, death, New Year's Day, and 
other days, are commemorated. The worship consists 
of the offering of fruits and cakes to the departed spirit; 
the burning of incense; the pouring out of wine; the nine 
prostrations, when the worshipper lifts the wine cup each 
time to the level of the forehead. This ceremony finishes 
the form of worship. The utmost formality is observed 
by worshippers. The men put on with great care all 
their official regalia and present themselves as spotless 
and adorned as though they were kneeling before a living 
emperor. This devotion in memory of their ancestors, 
as well as the respect and love shown the members of the 
living families, and the honor shown their superiors in age 
and rank, is one of China's graces and redeeming features. 



LADIES OF HIGH RANK 251 

These halls were more bewildering to me than any- 
thing that I had yet seen in China. The meaning was so 
securely concealed that in ignorance I mentally cried out, 
"What does it all mean?" I eagerly accepted the infor- 
mation that these kind friends offered. Only think of it! 
We stood before the tablet of the Empress of Ch'ien Lung, 
and a long line of the Duke's ancestors. We were in 
wonderland, with guide-book in hand that we could not 
read, and these unfamiliar wonders bore unfamiliar names. 
How strange they all were! As we stood there, in fancy 
flitted that wonderful Ch'ien Lung reign and its fine pro- 
ductions that have borne the test of time, and that to-day 
the outside world acknowledges of great value. With 
hearts warmed with gratitude for the great privilege these 
Chinese friends had so kindly given us, we took our de- 
parture. Another day's picture, with its strange but new 
colorings, is hung in my mind's gallery for me to study. 

In the past six months many more of the Manchu and 
Chinese ladies of rank have been added to our list of 
acquaintances. The circle increases, but I advance with 
caution. There are strange new events coming rapidly 
into our lives. Even the wives of high officials, both 
Manchu and Chinese, are opening their doors to us, and 
I am entertaining them in return. My former ideas of 
Chinese ladies are undergoing a great change. Mingling 
with them in their hospitable homes and in my Legation 
home removes much of the ignorant prejudice that I 
held against them. To-morrow we are to be entertained 
at the palace of Princess Shun, the sister of the Empress 
and niece of the Empress Dowager. I greatly admire 
this Princess. As strict formalities are laid aside, and 
we meet and talk out of our true selves, we become friends. 



252 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Your father's ever willing, ready, and efficient counsel 
and help encourage me onward. 

Many requests come to me for privileges and oppor- 
tunities through me to get different things and messages 
into the Palace to Their Majesties. I have not seen my 
way clear to grant these requests. I have adhered 
strictly to the principle of not abusing the favor I have 
won. Never have I tried to bear to the Imperial Court 
personal ideas, however much they might favorably 
appeal to my own approval. No, I never took any Chinese 
question nor requests of foreigners to Her Majesty. 
Questions of my own I did take to her. She never evaded 
nor refused to answer and act favorably upon any question 
that I laid before her. When Her Majesty told me any- 
thing I relied upon what she said, and she never failed 
me. I have visited their Chinese schools, their industries, 
the country, the Great Wall; I have marked their pro- 
found admiration for their Imperial rulers, studied their 
Imperial edicts and customs; I have noted their love and 
respect for ancestors, parents, children, for all sorts of 
pets; I have observed their care for the aged, blind, and 
crippled; I have tried to learn something of their feast 
days, their ancestral tombs, and many other things that 
would interest Her Majesty and show her that I too am 
interested in China and her people. Her Majesty has 
bestowed upon me many hours for conversation; and 
knowing this little, I could speak of it, and Her Majesty 
in turn would enlarge upon the topic and give me much 
more information. At one audience I spoke of the native 
school that I had lately visited and told Her Majesty what 
I saw and of the deep interest I felt in those bright boys. 
I casually said, "Such bright boys will be a power in 



EDICT CONCERNING STUDENTS 253 

their honorable country. As foreigners are with you, if 
some of your ablest youth could be educated abroad as 
well as at home, would it not enable them to meet and 
understand the incoming ideas?" Her Majesty assented 
and said, "They shall be sent abroad." A few days later 
I was delighted to read the following edict from Her 
Majesty's "pencil." 

The following Edict was issued on the twenty-third 
of the Twelfth Moon (February 1, 1902):* 

" Our international relations are of the utmost importance. 
At the present time when we are seeking to restore prosperity 
to the people and the Government, we ought more than ever 
to gather together those of superior merit. If those who go 
abroad will devote themselves earnestly to the investigation 
of foreign methods of government and the sciences of those 
countries, we may hope to increase our talents as in some 
measure to meet the needs of the Government. At present 
there are many students from the various Provinces, zealous 
in acquainting themselves with current affairs, who have gone 
abroad to study in foreign schools and learn a profession. 
This practice has never obtained among the Imperial Clans- 
men and the Eight Banners, and it is urgently necessary that 
they become more liberally educated. Let the Imperial Clan 
Court and the Lieutenant Generals of the Eight Banners select 
young men from each banner between the ages of fifteen and 
twenty-five, of good character, intelligent minds, and sound 
bodies, and prepare a list to be sent to the Grand Council, 
who may report to Us and await Our appointment of an 
official to re-examine and make a selection of a certain number, 
who shall be furnished with means and sent abroad to travel 
and study, availing themselves of the opportunity to familiarize 
themselves with foreign methods and enlarge their experience, 
that they may assist the Court in its purpose to cultivate talent 
for the services of the Government. 

"Respect this." 

Whether or not our conversation in regard to foreign 

♦Translation from the Peking Gazette of February i, 1902. 



^54 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

education had its influence, I care little. The edict has 
gone forth. At the audience following I expressed my 
pleasure. I also spoke of her edict against foot-binding, 
and asked if it would have an immediate effect upon her 
people. Her Majesty replied, "No; the Chinese move 
slowly. Our customs are so fixed that it takes much time 
to change them." 

Whenever I found that we had customs at all in com- 
mon with theirs I would speak of the Chinese customs, 
then state that our country has similar ones. To illus- 
trate: they have a Moon Feast, wherein they bring to- 
gether the harvests of the land and give thanks and eat in 
honor of their Moon god. I had taken great pains to 
learn from the educated higher class of Chinese ladies the 
meaning of this feast, and at the following audience I 
said to Her Majesty that I had taken great interest 
in their Moon Feast just past, and that I had officially 
acknowledged her bountiful gifts at this season, but I 
asked Her Majesty to accept my personal thanks. Then 
I enlarged upon the thought back of their feast and said 
that we in America had our corresponding Harvest Moon. 
She listened with great interest, and her bright eyes and 
face grew brighter, as I told her of our harvest-moon 
season, our national Thanksgiving Day, and its customs 
similar to those of their Moon Feast. 

In speaking of cemeteries I told her that we too had 
beautiful burying grounds with monuments and tablets, 
grass, flowers, shrubs, trees, lakes, and bridged streams. 
I said that we often visited these beautiful, much-loved 
spots, and carried freshly cut flowers in loving memory of 
our departed dear ones. The thoughtful Chinese generally 
seem surprised when I tell them this. I have been asked, 



USE OF "PIDGIN ENGLISH" 255 

"Do you not forget your ancestors? Do you remember 
them too?" 

At one private audience Her Majesty said to me, 
"Should you like to hear of our departure from Peking 
on that dark day after the foreign troops entered?" I 
replied that I should be much honored to listen to Her 
Majesty, and added that I had carefully avoided any 
allusion to this subject lest it might grieve her. She then 
related in a vivid way the incidents of her flight and that 
of the Court; she told me of their trials and privations, 
and of their long journey in carts. This great ruler knows 
and remembers events as they pass. Her Majesty cited 
to me many things of which I thought her totally 
ignorant. 

The Chinese are thinkers, and their unfailing memory 
is a wonderful key for them. In teaching them to think 
in foreign lines I sincerely hope that much foreign learning 
will not clog their memories. When the foreigner and 
the Chinese are not arbitrary and are willing to yield a 
point, they work quite harmoniously together. To illus- 
trate: you know that "pidgin English" is the foreign 
business language of China and that this language is com- 
posed of English words with Chinese constructions. The 
embellishing words are dropped as superfluous. The 
Chinese of the different Provinces can converse in "pidgin 
English" when their own dialects will not permit them 
to understand each other. Thus you see, this compromise 
is helpful to all. 

The Joint Note and the Protocol have brought many 
changes. The two changes which will interest you most 
are — first, the Tsung Li Yamen is now changed to Wai 
Wu Pu, and holds its former position near the Imperial 



256 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Court; second, the foreign Ministers when presenting their 
credentials are to enter the front gates and be received 
by Their Majesties in the Forbidden City. 

There has been no rain for many months, and the 
i c drought devil ' ' is ravaging the country. The destruction 
and lack during poverty's reign are appalling. Prayers 
and sacrifices do not appease this devil. There is a super- 
stition of long standing that when all else fails, China will 
call upon a very old iron tablet for help in her direful need. 
This tablet is carefully and religiously taken from place 
to place. It has at this time been taken from its resting- 
place and is on its journey of restoration. May China's 
trust be pure enough to touch the hem of Christ's gar- 
ment and be saved. It is the Spirit that quickeneth. 
Since I wrote to you about superstitions, much work has 
been done in my heart and mind to clear away the rub- 
bish that I might see the soil in which superstitions are 
rooted. I find that the quality of this soil in all nations 
varies only in proportion to the quantity of its different 
innate ingredients. If planted and nourished, super- 
stitions will grow everywhere. 



[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
June 21, 1903. 
WE have received from Her Majesty the Empress 
Dowager, yellow silk boxes containing two beautiful jade 
ornaments for our little granddaughter, and we forward 
them to you to-day. This was a great surprise to us all. 
Of her cordial congratulations to me at the audience on 
the fifteenth I have already written you, and now comes 



RAISING FUNDS FOR CHARITY 257 

this thoughtful recognition of our joy. These gifts are 
beautiful, but I prize even more than the gifts the thought 
that made Her Majesty bestow them upon our baby. 
They will tell you their own story. It will interest you to 
know that these are Her Majesty's first gifts sent to a 
foreign little one. 



[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
July 20, 1903. 

THE attitude which the foreigner holds toward the Chi- 
nese does not have a tendency to bring to light the best 
in himself, nor in them. It may be that the Chinese see 
an undesirable man in the foreigner. The littleness of 
revenge, and the boldness of self-asserting superiority, 
are not the most attractive characteristics of mankind. 
They seem at times to rival the good in a man and put 
it to a severe test, but they never efface or even tarnish 
it. When the battle is fought and the smoke clears 
away, the good is still there and at times is revealed in 
all men. I have just witnessed a street scene which 
called forth these remarks. 

At our annual meeting for the Woman's Winter 
Refuge we discussed the advisability of owning our 
home, and methods of raising money for this purpose. 
As I do not approve of writing to individuals for dona- 
tions, I suggested that each member of the association 
act as it seemed best to her. I said that if they would 
grant me one hundred or more copies of the reports, I 
would send them, sealed, to my friends in China and 
elsewhere. I also said that I would mark in my report 



2 5 8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

what seemed important to us, but that I would write 
nothing. Then, if it appealed as a need to these friends, 
they would respond to that need; if not, no answer was 
required. Over one hundred of these little messengers 
are on their journey. Do you not see, my dear girl, 
what journeys back to us will be free-will offerings? 

How your father and I would love to have you and 
Mary with us in our home life and in our social duties, 
in our investigations on our ponies, yes — everywhere. 
But our two girls were captured, not by the Chinese in 
1900, but by our American officers in 1901. If we loved 
them less we would grieve for them, but their greatest 
happiness is ours. 

We have three large bays and two white ponies now. 
They are all single-footers, and are among the best here. 
They seem to like our little races as much as we do, and 
when we strike the usual places away they go. When 
we reach home the boys and coolies are always in the 
outer court ready to help us dismount; with us, they pet 
and reward our ponies with bits of vegetables. 

Of late I have been able to get some very choice 
things. I have been wanting them for some time, but 
how to secure them I did not know. The Princesses and 
Chinese ladies help me to obtain their beautiful robes 
and other articles not on public sale. Friends — seekers 
after treasures — bring many things to me from their 
delving into the unexplored regions, and kindly take 
me into byways where time, unmolested, has deeply buried 
things of rare value. 

If I enter a Chinese shop which is widely opened to 
the public, respectfully look at some of the few good 
things in sight, price them, and say nothing about the 



COLLECTING CHOICE ARTICLES 259 

inferior ones, the shopkeeper will show me an inner room 
with more good things and fewer poor ones. If I then 
appreciate the good, he will take me into another room 
beyond, with still better goods and more of them. I 
have been taken into and through six different rooms, 
until, in the last, all things were of the best. Is not this 
true in all our earthly living ? If we recognize and know 
the good, more will be revealed to us. To me there is a 
great joy as I pass on and on step by step into the rooms of 
their heart-treasures. They love these choice produc- 
tions of ages and really pet them. These merchants so 
quietly explain what these things stand for that I become 
friendly and acquainted with them ; and when they or their 
kindred come to my door and ask permission to remain 
a few days, I gladly welcome them, and sometimes they 
do not leave me. Everything great or small which I 
have collected has its little story in my memory book, and 
in this story is a ray of joy. This seeking, with a thought 
to learn in detail something of what I see, has brought 
into my possession most beautiful and valuable things. 
To illustrate: I saw a number of incense-burners upon 
the floor. I liked the shape of them, so I asked the price. 
I was answered, "They have no value. Take them all 
if you wish." I took one of the dirty heavy things, as 
the shape still attracted me. When I reached home, 
Wang took this incense-burner, began to cut into it, and 
then said, "I boil in dried apricot sauce." When he 
returned he brought to me a polished, gold- surfaced, 
deeply carved, beautiful incense-burner with a date of 
over four hundred years ago upon it. Nothing of this was 
suggested before the cleaning process. It was the shape 
only that had attracted me. Such things of great value 



260 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

are seldom found, but little things often come my way — 
far more of them than I can give a home. It is not 
quantity that I strive to collect, but good specimens of 
the different lines of China's best productions. We are 
remaining here so long that I do not hasten in this happy 
work. Through these productions I am learning much 
of the people who made them. 

One investigator who was visiting the Far East 
said to me, "I concede that China's art has more effect 
upon foreign art than the foreign has upon the Chinese. 
You take a piece of China's art and place it anywhere 
away from home, and it gracefully and honorably holds 
its place; but a beautiful, dainty foreign piece of art 
seems out of place in China*." 

I replied, "Yes, and can we not find the reason for 
this in the thought that conceived and executed these 
different styles of art? The Chinese production has a 
positive meaning throughout its whole construction; 
and with these accumulated expressions in thought- 
symbols it portrays a culture that graces any drawing- 
room, library, gallery, museum. It has something to 
say and, in dignity, calmly says it. Every color or com- 
bination of colors, with their many shades; every flower, 
tree, plant, fruit, or vegetable; every bit of water, rock, 
plain, or mountain; every animal, reptile, bird, bat, or 
insect — in fact everything that holds a place, speaks a 
silent language that is felt, although it may not be heard 
nor understood. You see, each symbol is individual, 
even though it helps to make up the whole. Each 
knows its place, knows what it wishes to impart, and is 
at home with its associations. China's art is like a schol- 
arly man, at home everywhere. If we take foreign art 



A TEMPLE COMPOUND 261 

to China, its richest effect is lost. It is likely to look com- 
mon or out of place, because its setting is not in keeping. 
It comes without a fixed meaning, and is not at ease among 
these talking things. It is like a beautiful person with- 
out depth of thought. " 

During the social season we give two diplomatic, 
customs, or official dinners each week, besides the small 
social or complimentary dinners and tiffins to friends or 
people bringing letters from friends asking special favors. 

You recall that your father had the old temple on 
Canal Street repaired, and that we moved from our old 
Legation home to these new quarters. The Koreans 
bought the former Legation, and we were obliged to 
vacate. This old temple compound is composed of many 
courts with their many buildings. This temple and other 
buildings in the Legation quarters are divided so as to 
accommodate the Legation officials in their work and to 
provide homes for them. 

There is one large court in common for all. The 
Minister has four courts and their accompanying build- 
ings. In the summer three of these courts are p'eng, that 
is, covered and curtained with reed mattings supported 
by a framework reaching far above the surrounding 
buildings. By a system of ropes and pulleys the top 
is rolled and unrolled, and the curtains are hoisted and 
lowered. With a little care these courts are always cool. 
The court into which our drawing-room and dining- 
room open is p'eng. A large matting covers the paved 
floor; tables, chairs, and sofas are placed in groups. 
Evenings, there are from fifty to one hundred small and 
large different colored lanterns hanging high and low; 
upon the tables globed candles are standing. Near the 



262 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

centre of this temple-court stands an immense bronze 
incense-burner which is converted into a lantern with 
its many colorings. In this court there is also a large 
temple-bell about five feet high and three feet in diameter, 
hung upon a strong hardwood frame. On either side 
and within the court is a large evergreen tree, and at the 
base of these trees flowers and plants are banked. At 
either side of the steps leading to the drawing-room are 
wonderful white marble tablets yellowed by time. Upon 
these tablets are deeply carved dragons, and Chinese 
characters that recall long-forgotten history. These 
tablets tower above the cornice of the building. Stand- 
ing alone and in groups are beautiful hand-painted jars 
with large flowering and foliage plants. We receive our 
guests in the drawing-room; but after the dinner is fin- 
ished, we pass into this court to spend the remainder of 
the evening. On our days at home we receive our guests 
in this court. The air is fresh, and the beautiful trees, 
potted plants, shrubs, many flowers, and delightful 
guests make the day truly a happy one. 

To get out of the city for a few days your father 
planned a trip for us into Manchuria to Mukden and 
Newchwang. In the interior from Newchwang there are 
rich jade quarries. The extensive building by the Russians 
in Newchwang was bewildering. It looked as though 
they had come to stay and were building on their own 
soil. It was hard for China to be neutral and not pro- 
test. If she had openly protested, the status of the war 
would have been more complicated, and allies might 
have joined Japan and Russia in their awful battles; 
all through that unheard-of invasion upon China and 
her people she stood bravely neutral. Important des- 



A BIRTHDAY ANNIVERSARY 263 

patches kept coming, and your father felt that we must 
return to the Legation. 



[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
July 25, 1903. 
I MUST tell you about my birthday. You know the 
Chinese often ask the ages of people. About two months 
ago the wife of the Grand Secretary, Mrs. Wang Wen 
Shao, his granddaughter, Mrs. Kao, and others were 
calling. One asked my age, and I told her. They were 
at once interested, and asked when my next birthday 
came. Wang got the double calendar, Chinese and for- 
eign, so as to make sure of the date. They talked a little 
while by themselves and then asked if they might call 
upon me on that date. I said that I should be greatly 
pleased to receive them. They said the sixtieth birth- 
day is one of great note to the Chinese. I asked one of 
the ladies who was assisting me if she thought they were 
in earnest, and if they would remember. She replied, 
"They surely are in earnest now." Weeks passed. 
When we returned the call, no allusion was made to my 
birthday. We had planned our trip into Manchuria 
for July, but I told your father that we must get back 
by the twenty-fourth. We returned the twenty-first. 
The next day a messenger came from the ladies with 
compliments asking if I had returned and if I was well. 
On the twenty-third gifts began to come. Four most 
elegant, large embroidered birthday hangings in glass 
cases, lovely fans, beautiful ornaments, fragrant flowers, 
boxes of choice tea, boxes of delicious fruits, lotus seeds, 



264 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

four hams, a large cask of wine, and many small dec- 
orations came to me. Each gift brought within itself 
its own words of greeting. Her Majesty sent me rich, 
beautiful gifts some days before. How she learned 
about this day I never knew. 

Imagine, if you can, my surprise and my feelings! 
Our faithful servants gave me beautiful expressions of 
good wishes. Wang helped me to hang the banners and 
place the other gifts in the most approved Chinese style. 
I learned the number of those coming. They all arrived 
at twelve o'clock, bringing their happy greetings. We 
had our tea, and while thus seated Wang came into the 
drawing-room with a yellow card and two large yellow 
boxes. We all knew that Her Majesty had sent them. 
The lids were raised, and when a large lotus leaf was re- 
moved, there were revealed beautiful flowers and large, 
rich peaches. I took one of the flowers and placed it in 
my hair, then passed them to each lady, requesting that 
she do likewise. All were delighted. The ladies ex- 
amined the different flowers and pointed to the peaches, 
earnestly talking among themselves; then one lady said 
to me, "Her Majesty has given you the best wishes that 
she could give any one." As we passed out through a 
hall leading to the dining-room, Sir Robert Hart's band 
began to play in the outer court. The Chinese seldom 
give any expression of surprise, but this was too much, 
and their faces betrayed the inner thought. We passed 
on into the dining-room, and here through Miss Campbell 
a surprise awaited us all. The room was darkened ; and 
upon each end of the long table was a large birthday cake, 
with sixty small colored candles all burning. After a 



SIR ROBERT HART'S BAND 265 

short time the artificial lights were removed and the bright 
daylight appeared. 

We talked of the different customs of China and 
America, and their significance. The band was still 
playing, and Mrs. Wang Wen Shao remarked, "I'd 
rather hear that music than talk or eat." I said if they 
would partake of the food we would soon go where we 
could see the band playing. I told them they were 
Chinese musicians playing foreign music upon foreign 
instruments. I sent word for the band to rest from their 
playing and partake of their refreshments. 

After we had enjoyed Her Majesty's delicious peaches 
and their language, I arose and said, "Ladies, we have 
partaken of the bountiful good wishes of Her Imperial 
Majesty, the Empress Dowager. Let us arise, lift our 
glasses, and unite in extending to the Rulers of China 
our heart's best wishes for health, success, and happi- 
ness." As is customary, these ladies graciously ac- 
knowledged the good wishes expressed for their Rulers. 

We invited our guests to take seats in the large hall 
opening into the court where the band was playing. 
None of the ladies had either seen or heard a band with 
foreign instruments playing foreign music. They watched 
them until the last note was sounded and the last musi- 
cian had left. After our Chinese guests had departed, 
my American guests sat down with me and we talked 
it all over. My efficient helpers told me more in detail 
the sayings of our Chinese guests. These helpers are 
of the best, are in sympathy with my efforts, and efficiently 
and willingly assist me. Without these co-workers I 
should be helpless, as I am ignorant of the Chinese Ian- 



266 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

guage. I write these detailed accounts, because in this 
way only can you get a little knowledge of the Chinese 
character and inner life. I am striving to know them 
through intercourse with them. 

To-day the official cards of these ladies , husbands 
were brought by a messenger with compliments of these 
ladies, their good wishes, and hopes that their visit did 
not weary me. I sent my Chinese card in return, with 
my compliments and appreciation. They have a time for 
doing everything, and they seem never to fail in perform- 
ing the duties of that time. 

We are to visit one of these Chinese families very 
soon. These visits give me a good idea of Chinese homes. 
They are large compounds, with many buildings, courts, 
grottoes, watercourses, artistic bridges, beautiful gar- 
dens, large trees, and pavilions of Oriental beauty. I am 
delighted to enter and see these things, they have been 
such a mystery. I can now see how the sons can marry 
and bring their wives home to their father's palace. 
The palace grounds are walled; in this large enclosure 
are many compounds for the homes of individual fami- 
lies. Upon many of these homes as elsewhere the de- 
structive siege has left its mark suggestive of better 
days. 

I must tell you of three Chinese sisters. Their father, 
His Excellency Mr. Hsu, is a scholar and the President 
of the " Board of Rights." These sisters are enterprising, 
industrious, studious, and accomplished. We often see 
them and their handiwork with needle and brush. I 
have, hanging upon the wall, a beautiful banner which 
Her Majesty painted and gave to me. On the second 
visit of these sisters they asked permission to look about 



THREE INTERESTING SISTERS 267 

my room. When they came to this valuable, highly 
prized banner, they seemed much pleased and said, 
"Our father wrote that poem, there is his seal." The 
Empress Dowager gives to a scholar a subject for a 
poem; then she illustrates it in a colored painting. As 
I become better acquainted with these attractive, lovable 
young ladies and know that their father wrote that poem, 
there is added to the former joys that this banner has 
brought to me, another joy, true and living. The eldest 
of these sisters was recently married and we were invited 
to see the wedding gifts. Their mother is a quiet, unas- 
suming lady, and a delightful hostess. The "feast" 
was elaborate. 

I have learned to fully enjoy much of the Chinese 
food which my prejudices at first would not allow me 
even to taste; politeness, however, urged me to pretend 
to taste, and finally common sense persuaded me that 
it was wise to really taste; and now I am fond of it. 
Prejudice is so blind that it will not see; in fact it does 
not wish to see, and so bars out many blessings that 
might come to those who give it a home and nourish it. 

One day when these sisters were calling, I casually 
made the remark, "Our country has just had a birthday, 
and we visited the Western Hills to celebrate." Then 
I told of our celebrations. I made the remark that our 
country is a child, and very young; and that China is 
so very old that perhaps the date of her birth is forgotten. 
The eldest sister first spoke about China's age in dynas- 
ties, then spoke of Columbus's discovery of America, 
of the landing of the Pilgrims, of our troubles with Eng- 
land, the seceding of the colonies, of our Declaration of 
Independence, and many other things. Where did she 



268 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

learn all this, and how could a Chinese lady desire to 
know it? We talked for some time upon education, 
and this topic gave me the opportunity to ask where she 
found her information. She replied, " American mis- 
sionaries have translated into our language many books 
on history and other subjects for their schools, and these 
we buy and study." These sisters are loyal Chinese; 
they are students of their own country, and with bright 
faces they talk intelligently of their own customs. 

At their home they showed us their library, paintings, 
gardens, and their exquisite needlework. They are most 
respectful to their mother, charming with one another, and 
cordial to their friends. After this sister was married, she 
and several other married and unmarried ladies called. 
The highest in rank asked if they might meet the Minister. 
The unmarried ladies arose and asked permission to with- 
draw to the library. I said that Mr. Conger would see 
them in the drawing-room. The married sister at once 
said, "But the unmarried ladies are not privileged to 
meet gentlemen." Then she said, "I am free now, I can 
see. I have a teacher in painting, and learn many new 
things." 

Some time later this married sister left Peking for 
her Southern home with her husband's people. A few 
weeks after she left, the two sisters sent me word that they 
were in mourning, and asked if they might come and tell 
me of their sorrow. They came and told of a sister 
unknown to me. Many years ago this sister was be- 
trothed to Li Hung Chang's son. The son died. A 
pitiful story followed. This sister went into seclusion 
for many years, withdrawing more and more from her 
own family. Of late she had literally refused to take 



INTERPRETATION OF SYMBOLS 269 

food or drink, and she had at last committed suicide. 
In the sight of the Chinese that was the act of the hero- 
ine. She could not have given her life in a more com- 
mendable way. I asked if this sad news had reached 
their married sister. They said no, Chinese never bear 
sad news to a bride in the first year of her married life. 

After this bride had gone to her husband's home I 
received letters from her which showed the line of her 
interests. Her husband went abroad to college, so she 
returned from the South. Soon after her arrival, she 
called upon me, and in the course of our conversation I 
asked what line of study she was now pursuing. She 
said that she was still working upon missionary transla- 
tions, and remarked that she was greatly interested in 
Professor Jenks' monetary system. It did not concern 
me to know how deep was her knowledge of this intri- 
cate subject, but I was concerned to know that she had 
heard of it, and was interested. The Chinese steadfastness 
to an idea and their great memories permit them to delve 
deeper, and with clearer understanding, than can the 
average foreigner. 

You will be interested in the interpretation of the 
flowers the Empress Dowager sent on my birthday. 
As I have said before, there is a symbolism in everything 
Chinese, and I know this symbolism adds a charm to 
a gift already beautiful. The peach and oleander blos- 
soms express the wish for "long life," "rich in suste- 
nance and beauty. ■ ' This sentiment associated with the 
peach is universally understood, but I have found no one 
who could give an account of its origin. The lotus leaf 
indicates "purity and modesty.' ' "The superior man, like 
the lotus, although coming through mire, is untainted; 



2 7 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

although bathed in sparkling water and rising in beauty 
is without vanity.' ' The aster means " superior to cir- 
cumstances." These blossoms still appear after frost 
falls, and express the thought of unfading beauty. The 
orange marigold, " beautiful in age," is fragrant and 
brilliant in the declining season. These sentiments fre- 
quently appear in Chinese verse and often accompany 
rich gifts. 

Early one morning this spring we were riding toward 
the Summer Palace where the Court was spending the 
summer months. Yellow soil was being spread upon the 
streets leading into the Forbidden City and we knew that 
this indicated that the Court was going to enter. In a 
secluded place in the court of the city gate we dismounted 
and awaited the passing of the yellow chair, the many 
red ones, and their large number of attendants. Two 
days after I was paying a visit to a Princess who had been 
one of the Imperial party, and I asked for what purpose 
the Court returned to the city. The answer was given 
in a quiet, clear way, "The Empress has charge of the 
domestic industries of the Empire. This is the season 
for the silkworm, and the Empress with her Princesses 
visits the Forbidden City and offers prayers and pays 
homage at the shrine of the god of the silkworm. They 
beseech his support and protection of this little worm 
during its industrious work. After the worm has fin- 
ished its labors, again Her Majesty and her Princesses 
visit this shrine and offer praises of gratitude for the 
answer to their prayers." 



SITTING FOR THE PORTRAIT 271 

[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
August 2^ 1 go j. 

I HAVE more to tell you about Her Majesty's portrait. 
I wrote to Miss Carl, the artist, to be here near the first 
of August in order to be ready, at Her Majesty's sum- 
mons, to appear at the Palace. We were silent upon 
this subject; no one knew of the coming event. On an 
auspicious day early in August we were summoned to 
the Court, and the work was begun. The day was a 
bright one, and Her Majesty seemed happy as she re- 
ceived us informally and cordially. The Emperor was 
present for a short time, then withdrew. The Princess, 
Lady Yu, and her daughters in their midsummer dress 
were truly attractive. Lady Yu and her daughters were 
most helpful as Her Majesty's interpreters; you know 
they speak English fluently. Eunuchs and slave girls 
stood about the room ready to serve. 

While Her Majesty was posing for her portrait, two 
eunuchs knelt before her with communications. Her 
Majesty took one and perused it, then took the other. 
All was quiet, and the intensity of her expression while 
reading spoke volumes. I was truly thankful for this 
incident, as I was enabled to see the deep, thoughtful 
expression of this keen, watchful Empress Dowager of 
China. Her Majesty's Imperial robe and adornments 
far surpassed the richness and elegance of those worn 
at the audiences for foreigners. A charcoal sketch was 
made, and the likeness pleased all. 

After a " feast" our Imperial hostess took me by the 
hand, and we led the way through corridors and courts 



272 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

to the theatre court. As Her Majesty talked with me, 
she placed upon my wrists two beautifully carved brace- 
lets. We were seated on the veranda opening from Her 
Majesty's private rooms, facing the theatre. The large 
stage, of itself a fairy building, was elaborately decorated, 
and the performers were all in harmony with their sur- 
roundings. Yellow programmes were handed to us, 
and Her Majesty explained the play, which we greatly 
enjoyed. The Empress Dowager and the Princesses 
were most cordial, and imparted good cheer to their 
guests. When we took our departure the Princesses 
accompanied us through the court. The magnitude of 
this portrait-painting is beginning to grow upon me. 
What will the end be ? Miss Carl has not come in since 
we left her, but messages frequently pass between us. 
She is, however, getting along nicely. Untold attentions 
and privileges are bestowed upon her. 

The Legations are progressing slowly in their build- 
ing. Difficulties keep arising as the workmen are not 
familiar with foreign methods. The Italian Minister 
told me that they had trouble with one of his contractors 
in putting up his Legation buildings. The contractor, 
it seems, fell short of funds, and the Minister insisted that 
he must pay up. The man begged for mercy and said 
that he was bankrupt, that the Fates had worked against 
him. The Minister said that he could not listen to such 
talk, but the man still begged and insisted that he had no 
money. Finally he left without reconciliation. In a 
few days a large Chinese coffin was brought to the Min- 
ister, with the message: "This coffin is all that I have. 
I have kept it for years; but as you insist that I must pay 
you, I bring and lay at your feet my last and my all." 



THE APPROACH OF WAR 273 

Kotowing, he begged him to take the coffin and forgive 
the debt. The Minister, horrified, told the man to take 
the coffin and depart. When we can realize what the 
coffin means to the Chinese, we can somewhat realize 
the great sacrifice this man was making. 

Our Legation is going to be substantial and fine. It 
may take two years to finish it. Mr. Nealy, the govern- 
ment architect, is very particular and thorough about 
every part. He works many hours a day, and every 
day; I never saw greater perseverance and endurance. 
Your father makes his daily visit to the new Legation 
to note the progress, and gives words of encouragement. 

The war clouds are gathering. Can it be that two 
civilized nations will fight the awful battles of bloodshed ? 
Japan is contending for her existence. Russia is keeping 
still and awaiting developments. , The outside world 
is looking on and declaring that it desires a reconcilia- 
tion without bloodshed. 



[To a Friend] 

American Legation, Peking, 
August 50, 1003. 

HOW the days fly, and the months pass, and the 
years — not one of them long! Each bears more sun- 
shine than clouds. Friendship's love is among the joys 
of living. It faithfully warms the heart and reassures. 

The Chinese ladies do not retrace their steps, nor 
cease to open their doors to us. On the contrary, they 
manifest a growing interest to receive me and my party 
and to be received in return. If they cannot come, they 
send tokens of remembrance to us. 



274 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

The Chinese have many feast days. On these occa- 
sions the Empress Dowager sends to the Diplomatic 
ladies, as well as to her own people, plants, fruits, cakes, 
and other gifts according to the day. One season she 
sent me eight painted porcelain pots with fine black 
stands. These pots were filled with most thrifty bush 
peonies bearing many exquisite pink blossoms and buds, 
and I have preserved not only the beautiful memory of 
these blossoms, but their petals. I have a pillow filled 
with them and have covered it with the Imperial yellow 
embroidered in unfading flowers; so I keep fresh a precious 
memory by preserving as nearly as possible its outward 
expression. At another time she gave four similar pots 
and stands filled with rich orchids; at still another, four 
large acacia trees full of buds. At times she sends most 
exquisite flower baskets made of wired white jasmine buds. 
These baskets are composed of many small baskets dec- 
orated with silk tassels of many colors and one very large 
yellow tassel hanging from the centre. The baskets are 
filled with different colored flowers, each bearing its 
good wish in a silent language. Her Majesty sends cakes 
and fruits of different kinds, in round, Imperial yellow 
boxes decorated with gold characters and Imperial 
dragons. Sometimes she sends yellow silk boxes bear- 
ing birds' nests, sharks' fins, shrimps, or tea. Among 
Her Majesty's choicest gifts to me are banners and fans 
of her own painting. 

The Chinese are very systematic in all that they do. 
Twice a year an edict is issued by the Emperor indicating 
the day when his subjects shall change to winter or summer 
clothing. The winter clothing is dark and is lined with 
fur or wadded; hats and shoes correspond with the cloth- 




Starting for the Palace to See Her Majesty's Portrait 
Our Chinese Cart in Its Winter Dress 



SUMMER AND WINTER CUSTOMS 275 

ing in weight. The summer clothing is light in weight 
and color, white and light blue prevailing; here again 
hats and shoes correspond with the garments worn. One 
day you may be out and see every one in winter clothes; 
the very next day you may see every one in summer 
clothes. One day in the spring I was making calls, and 
it seemed warm in the cart. On my return I said to Wang, 
"Tell Mafoo I wish him to take the side paddings out 
of the cart, take out the glass windows, put in the netting 
and curtains, and put all the awnings up." Wang re- 
turned and said, "Madame, Mafoo say, 'No proper time 
put summer dress on cart. Mafoo and carter wear winter 
clothes, cart wear winter clothes.' " I said, "All right, 
wait for proper time." 

In the winter, when alone, we dine at half-past seven, 
in the summer at eight o'clock. Without one word from 
me, when they change their clothes they change the dinner 
hour. Do you see the system they observe ? I am quite 
methodical myself, and it appeals to me. They have a 
certain kind of jewelry to wear each season. At one 
Imperial summer audience Her Majesty took from her 
person a beautifully carved ornament with small and 
large pearls, corals, and tassels, and hung it upon my pin. 
At the next audience, which was late in autumn, I thought 
that I would wear something that Her Majesty had given 
me, so I hung this gift where Her Majesty had placed it. 
My boy Wang saw it, and quietly said, "No proper time 
wear that summer ornament." I said, "Very well. It 
must rest in its box until its proper time comes." 

This boy watches me very closely, and I encourage 
him to do so. I have a black satin, fur-lined Chinese coat 
that I wear when going to dinners in the winter. I put it 



276 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

on to wear to a Chinese dinner. Wang again came to me 
and said, " More better you wear light, long, foreign coat." 
Off it went, and my own " lady's coat" was donned. He 
seems very jealous for me, and wishes me to please the 
Chinese, as he knows that I do not wish to offend, nor to 
merit their ridicule. 



[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
November 8, 1903. 

I JUST wish that you could realize what lovely, valu- 
able things come my way, now that I know them and 
with delight recognize them. Things are so much like 
people — they gladden the heart or sadden it. Do you not 
see it is recognizing the good in them that gladdens and 
attracts, and the non-recognition that sickens and repels? 
If we look into the hidden meaning of things or the inmost 
heart of people, we find the attractive form expressed or 
suggested in a greater or less degree. 

Wang came to me one day recently and said, " Madame 
see Moon Feast?" I did wish to see it, and went to 
the outer p'eng court where I saw a well-filled table and 
around it were the house boys and the head servant of 
each department. This Moon Feast is yearly celebrated 
throughout China, and rejoicings are offered for the har- 
vest of the summer. Thus the mind idealizes events, and 
the heart-beats vitalize them. 

I know of no better way to answer your questions 
about Chinese art than to send you a letter that Dr. Head- 
land wrote me in answer to some of my inquiries upon the 
same subject. You have breathed the atmosphere of art 



STUDY OF CHINESE ART 277 

for so many years that you can appreciate the great work 
that Dr. Headland has done in diligently collecting choice 
pieces and studying them to get a knowledge of their 
worth. I have often wished that you could listen to his 
enthusiastic conversations upon the many lines of Chinese 
art. Dr. Headland writes as follows: 

During the past seventeen years in China, I have studied 
carefully, as you know, her porcelain, her bronze, her jade, 
brass, embroidery, tapestry, lacquer, carving, and pictorial 
art, and I do not hesitate to say that her painting is by far the 
most attractive of them all. In this she has always led the 
Orient, as it is well known that all Japanese art is but a copy 
and modification of the Chinese masters. 

In her painting she has two styles, the Northern and the 
Southern. The former has always used a good deal of color, 
while the attraction of the latter is in the caligraphy, or brush- 
work. In each of these styles there are a great many schools, 
and during the latter part of the Ming and the present dynasty 
there has come into vogue an eclectic school, which has tried 
to embody the beauties of both styles; and some of her great- 
est artists belong to these two dynasties. 

I have traced back the history of her art to about 1324 
B. C, but little can be found worthy the name till two or three 
centuries before our era. From that time we have connected 
history. 

She has a regular system of drawing. She began her 
painting by frescoing, and mixed her paints the same as did 
the old Italian masters — pulverized minerals mixed with glue 
and water. The great stimulus to her art was religion — the 
introduction of Buddhism — and its first progress was real- 
ized in the decoration of temples. The golden age of her 
painting, like that of her literature, poetry, and music, was 
during the seventh and eighth centuries, about seven or eight 
centuries earlier than our own. 

She has no art schools, technically so-called, though each 
master has always had a great number of pupils who either 
became his followers or established schools and methods of 
their own. 



278 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Among their artists they have the realistic, the naturalistic, 
the impressionist, and finger-painting, together with others 
for which we have no adequate English names — such as out- 
line drawings and pai miao f a species of fine outline drawing 
of the clothing while the faces and hands of the figures are 
natural. 

You know, of course, that they have had many well-known 
lady artists, and among these will always be placed, I have 
no doubt, your friend, Her Majesty the Empress Dowager, 
and her teacher, the Lady Miao. In my collection of more 
than five hundred paintings, prints, and rubbings, I have seven 
of the Empress Dowager's and one by Lady Miao. This last 
was painted by Lady Miao at the request of the Princess Shun, 
sister of the Empress, and given as a present to my wife. 

The studies of Chinese artists embrace all those of the 
West; landscape, peach-blossoms, and bamboo, flowers, fig- 
ures, animals, birds, butterflies, insects, fish — in fact, any- 
thing that can be drawn or colored. Their point of view in 
landscape is usually from an elevation, the only point from 
which one can view the landscape. It is on this account that 
it has often been said that they lack perspective. I think it 
can be shown that in their horizontal scrolls they have as good 
perspective as we have, while in their perpendicular or hang- 
ing scrolls, they have a feature of perspective that our artists 
have never yet used. 

One of the difficulties in Chinese drawing and painting is 
that a mark once put on can never be covered or erased. They 
work with India ink — falsely so-called, for it is Chinese ink — 
and water-colors, on either silk or paper specially prepared for 
this purpose, and as both their colors and their ink are indeli- 
ble, a mark once put on is there forever. 

Chinese art, like almost everything else Chinese, is an ac- 
quired taste; but after we have once acquired it, it becomes a 
passion. Very sincerely, 

Isaac T. Headland. 



SUICIDE OF PRINCESSES 279 

[To Our Daughter Laura] 

Peking, December 15, 1903. 

YOU will be interested to hear of a visit made us by 
Dowager Princess K'e and the ladies of her household. 
One of the party we had never met before. The subject of 
the siege was brought up by these ladies, and they talked 
of their great losses of property, treasures, and dear ones. 
I asked this stranger where she was living at the time. 
She told me, and I said to her: 

"I visited that palace in company with missionaries 
who were in search of a place to rent for their mission. We 
were shown through the premises, and in one room there 
were three coffins containing the remains of three ladies 
who jumped into a well near by. We were shown this 
well and were told that four ladies attempted to commit 
suicide, but one was rescued." 

She attentively listened, then uncovered her wrist, 
showing a scar, and said, "I am that fourth lady." 

With intense interest, I asked, "Why did you jump 
into the well?" 

She replied, "We had suffered so much from the 
Boxers, the Chinese soldiers, and other desperate people, 
that when the foreign soldiers entered the city, we thought 
our end had come. Rather than fall victims to them, 
we would honorably end our lives. I was the third who 
made this death jump. The fourth fell upon me, turned 
my head out of the water, and I was taken from the well. 
One of the three was the betrothed wife of the Emperor's 
brother, the brother who has lately married Jung Lu's 
daughter." 

When the Chinese ladies visit me, I strive to make the 



280 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

visit interesting to them. I bring out the best Chinese 
and American productions that I have in my possession, 
and we talk about them. When we were all seated at the 
dining-table, with more enthusiasm than I ever saw a 
Manchu lady express, the Dowager Princess said : 

" Before the troubles I would collect and look upon 
foreign pictures, buildings, and gardens, and they passed 
before me an imaginary panorama. I did wish that I 
could look inside the homes, and I am now permitted to 
look upon a living panorama.' ' 

She is a bright, educated, intelligent lady of high rank, 
and is queen of her home. All seem to pay her homage, 
and yet, as far as we can see, her treatment of her subordi- 
nates is gentle and tender. 

Through books, we have heard so much about the 
"cruel mother-in-law" that we have not been asleep in 
our watchfulness to detect this cruelty. They have their 
rules for showing respect, honor, and duty, and seem 
happy in living these rules. Such deference shown 
parents, older people, and those of rank I never saw else- 
where. From their earliest childhood, the Chinese are 
taught obedience to rules and customs. 

This patient obedience they impart to their animals, 
fowls, and birds. They will drive anywhere a large 
drove of swine, a flock of sheep, ducks, or turkeys, by 
patiently talking to them. Mules, ponies, and donkeys 
will promptly obey commands without lines. Our carter 
never speaks to our mule nor whips him when we are in 
the cart. He has lines, but he seems to guide, increase or 
lessen the mule's speed by gently touching different parts 
of the body with his whip. The Chinese love their chil- 
dren and animals, and pet them. Some say they are cruel 




Princess K'e in Festive Attire 



A RICH PALACE DESPOILED 281 

to their beasts of burden, but I have seen little beating or 
persecution of animals in China. True, the loads put 
upon them are almost impossible, but the people patiently 
and diligently plod under heavy loads, and so do their 
animals. I often look at those bulky loads and wonder 
how either men or animals can budge them, let alone carry 
or haul them. 

As it is not etiquette for daughters-in-law to sit in 
the presence of their mothers-in-law, they arrange to 
call at different times. Princess K'e, the son's wife, 
called with other ladies. Dowager Princess K'e's pal- 
ace is very large and has many courts, compounds, 
gardens, grottoes, summer-houses, and a large park of 
beautiful trees. This palace is where we tiffined with 
the British officers (1901) in the West Tartar City. You 
will remember how the rooms were decorated with rich, 
choice embroideries, porcelain, and elaborately carved 
black wood furniture. All this is gone now. Their an- 
cestral halls are in ruins, and the tablets of many genera- 
tions have been carried away or destroyed. At one time 
when we were visiting Princess K'e she pointed to the 
buildings as we passed, and in a most pathetic way said : 
" There are our ancestral halls. They are empty now. 
In nineteen hundred they were used as stables." Noth- 
ing more was said, and we walked on silently. Those 
halls were the tablet home of a long line of " iron- 
capped" princes. Centuries ago this palace had been 
awarded by the Emperor to one of these noted ancestors. 
During the occupancy of their palace by the British, this 
Dowager Princess asked permission to reclaim money 
which had been concealed and the request was granted. 
For this, she seemed very grateful. 



282 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Dowager Princess K'e was the first wife of Prince 
K'e, and there are three secondary wives with her. Two 
of these secondary wives have children. The Prince 
and the brother about to be married are the real sons of 
the first secondary wife. All the children, however, 
belong to the Dowager Princess and are recognized as 
her children and have their father's rank. The third 
secondary wife has no children; and the first secondary 
brought one of her sons to me with this unfortunate 
sister-wife and placing the little fellow's hand in hers 
said, "This boy is her son. I gave him to her because 
she was childless. 1 ' To them these marriages are right, 
and these homes seem to be happy. Every man and 
woman must have children or a child to worship at their 
tombs. 

The occasion of this visit to the Palace was a feast 
day; friends kept coming and going, and we met many 
ladies of high rank. They were richly dressed and 
adorned with strange, elegant jewels. Their festival head- 
trimmings were most elaborately decorated with fine 
pearls and brilliant jewels. These ladies bear close inspec- 
tion with a growing admiration. While we were sitting 
at our feast watching the puppet entertainment, a little 
six-year-old Duke was brought to us. He was dressed 
in Duke's clothing with all the marks of rank, and came 
with his amah to pay his respects. Without one indi- 
cation of displeasure or annoyance he gave his saluta- 
tions and passed on. We were deeply interested in the 
little child because we knew his foster mother, Prince 
Ch'ing's widowed daughter, whose home is in the Im- 
perial Palace with Her Majesty. We have met this lovely 
Princess in the Palace and elsewhere many times. I write 



THE PALACE OF PRINCE SU 283 

thus in detail, to so thoroughly introduce you to this 
family that you will recognize its members when I bring 
them to you again. 

The new commercial treaty between China and 
America was signed October 8, 1903. Your father put 
much of his best thought and work into this treaty, and 
as chairman of the commission, was called to Shanghai 
to finish the negotiations. This treaty opens new ports, 
furnishes increased security to missionaries and other 
Americans in the interior, and gives new and encourag- 
ing facilities to foreign trade. Surely this step promises 
and opens the way for better understanding, better 
relations, and better friendships. 



[To Daughter Laura] 

American Legation, Peking, 
January jy, 1904.. 

I AM going to tell you a little of what I have learned 
from a prominent Chinese family. You have heard of 
this family, as we occupied their palace during the 
siege. The " iron-capped," or hereditary, Prince Su, who 
owned this palace, had stored in its many buildings the 
treasures of centuries. 

When the siege came, this lovely home, which was 
within the Legation quarters, had to be abandoned by 
its owners. Prince Su and his family left all in our keep- 
ing. There was great effort made to protect these build- 
ings and treasures, but the Boxers set the premises on 
fire, and with difficulty a part was saved. Ashes and 
ruins were all that was left of the greater number of those 
beautiful buildings. The stores of rich, choice treasures 



284 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

were burned. This palace is the "Fu" of which so 
much was written in reports of the siege. It was at first, 
and during most of our confinement, the refuge for native 
converts, and its high walls were fortifications against 
the shot and shell of our enemies. I recall these things 
to your mind because I have much more to tell you of 
this family. The Chinese suffered from loss of life and 
property, and from outrages far beyond the colorings of 
word, pen, or conception. It matters not what miscon- 
ceived ideas caused this great calamity, the facts remain 
the same. 

I never expected to meet Prince Su again or to meet 
his family, but it has been my good fortune to meet His 
Highness and his brother many times and to become 
acquainted with the ladies and children of their families. 
One sister married a Mongolian Prince who holds a high 
official position in Mongolia. This Princess was the first 
whom I met. Her strong character and intelligence ap- 
pealed to me at once, and my admiration increased as I 
knew her better. Prince Su ranks among the highest 
princes in China. His aged mother was an invalid for 
many years, but she lived actively in the hearts of their 
large families and her friends. When this Dowager 
Princess Su died the funeral obsequies lasted many 
weeks, and the season of seclusion lasted one hundred 
days. There were marked ceremonies observed in her 
honor. To know what they are, even in part, one must 
witness them. 

Through our mutual friend Mrs. Headland we sent 
our sympathy to Prince Su and his family in their deep 
bereavement. With their acknowledgment, they ex- 
tended a modest but cordial invitation to the ladies of our 




Dowager Princess K'e Princess Su 

Mongolian Prince and Princess, the Latter a Sister of Prince Su 



FUNERAL OBSEQUIES 285 

household to go to their home of sorrow if we would thus 
honor them. This was a very great departure from the 
almost iron-clad customs of past centuries. The day 
was chosen, and in a respectful, sincere manner we en- 
tered the presence of these devoted mourners. It seemed 
almost trespassing upon their devotion and sorrowing 
hearts. The deep, true sympathy, earnest thoughts, 
and lessons that came to me that day no words of mine 
can ever tell. I will only try to speak of some of the things 
that my eyes saw, ears heard, and heart felt. It was a 
sacred place to them and not one cloud of criticism 
passed through my mind. 

In the street near the entrance stood a guard of sol- 
diers. As we entered the first court, many were standing 
and servants dressed in white received us and escorted 
us through other courts. The nearer we approached the 
inmost court, the larger the number of servants who 
received us; many were standing as sentinels. The 
courts were almost noiseless except for the strains of 
music. Each court seemed to have its servants or at- 
tendants ranking higher than those in the preceding one. 
Finally, we arrived at the open door leading into the 
hallway and other rooms, and on into the very building 
and room where the ladies of the home were paying 
their homage. 

Prince Su's married sister received us. Having 
married, she has gone out of this family and has become 
a member of her husband's family. She was dressed in 
coarse white, without ornaments, and received the sympa- 
thizing guests. We were at the threshold of their "holy 
of holies." With bowed heads we entered and passed 
to our seats. A very large building facing the south was 



286 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

divided into three compartments. The centre faced a 
large feng court and was the altar-room. Just back of 
the shrine was a large table, and back of this table, cur- 
tained from view, was the casket containing the remains 
of their dear one. At the right of this altar was the room 
for the sons and grandsons of the deceased ; at the left was 
the room for the daughters-in-law and granddaughters. 
We were at the left. Upon the floor were large white 
cushions, and upon each cushion was a mourner facing 
the altar-room, according to her rank. Through their 
rough white clothing, unpainted faces, unadorned persons, 
and wrapped heads, their characteristic features and ex- 
pressions shone forth in strength and beauty. They 
went through their ceremonies apparently unconscious 
of our presence. Bells rang, cymbals tinkled, and uni- 
formed musicians played their wailing music. Friends 
of rank came and paid their respects, and brought their 
" feasts" which were placed upon the table back of the 
shrine. After special ceremonies, these " feasts" were 
cleared away to give place to others. We were invited 
to the room at the right. We bowed our respects to 
Prince Su and to the others, but soon withdrew. 

We were then taken into the large p'eng court. An 
attractive sight, and one deep with meaning, confronted 
us here. Dowager Princess Su's long life of rank and 
honors, adorned with goodness, had reaped at her death 
a bountiful harvest in the outpourings of loving hearts. 
Hundreds and hundreds of gifts filled this large court. 
Each was significant, and bore its special Chinese message 
of sympathy to this bereaved family. Aside from this 
large number of complimentary gifts, there were multi- 
plied all imaginary things that could be of use, comfort, 



RICH FUNERAL GIFTS 287 

or pleasure. No description of this full court could do it 
justice. The innate adaptability of the Chinese, their 
cleverness, gentle touch, patience, exactness, ability to 
reproduce, keen eye for colors and shades of color, and 
their rigid education in their customs, all combined to 
make that court beautiful and significant in its complete- 
ness. Most of the articles were made of paper or papier- 
mdche, in imitation of the real, and were to be sacrificed in 
fire. Long rows of blooming plants first greeted our eyes. 
The stands, pots, and plants looked so natural that we at 
first believed them so. There were trunks filled with 
rolls of silk and satins, trunks of jewels, fans, rich orna- 
ments for the hair, end many sorts of toilet articles, 
outer and under garments, shoes and stockings. There 
were amahs ready to serve, mafoos, sedan and summer 
chairs, household chairs, stools, tables, wardrobes; in fact, 
everything to wear or use in a home of wealth and culture 
was there represented — all in paper or papier-mache, 
and all were to be burned at their proper time and place. 
Many banners and decorations, lanterns and umbrellas 
were hanging in this court. In an outer court were em- 
blematic animals to act their part when called upon. 
These services on this extreme scale bewildered me, and 
it may be that I have omitted to mention some of the 
most important things — surely I have mentioned very 
little. 

Many days later we witnessed the long, imposing 
procession as it bore the remains of their loved one to 
their beautiful cemetery outside of the city. In being 
privileged to mingle with these higher Chinese under 
varied circumstances, I feel that I can more accurately 
estimate their true character. 



a88 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Chinese children are quiet, polite, and lovable. They 
are awake in their responses and conversation, but not 
forward and bold. Their manners are charmingly 
graceful; these they are assiduously taught from their 
early childhood. Knowing what is expected of them, 
they are at home in their place. Not long ago His Excel- 
lency Wang Wen Shao's wife was ill, and I sent her a 
basket of flowers. The next day her little nine-year-old 
daughter, a lovely child, came with her amah to bear her 
mother's thanks and good wishes. The child brought 
me four boxes of fresh, choice tea. When any member 
of the family came into the room or rose to leave, she would 
rise to her feet. When your father came in, she stepped 
forward and with a Chinese courtesy greeted him. I 
wanted to take the little one in my arms and caress her, 
but I knew that it would be unwise to break into her lady- 
like ways. She was doing beautifully those things that 
she had been taught were proper. When the mother 
was free from her sick-bed she came bringing her two 
children, the daughter and a son of eleven years. After 
they had been here for a time drinking tea and chatting, 
the mother said, "My son would like to pay his respects 
to His Excellency, the Minister. Could your first boy go 
with him ? " As your father said that he would be pleased 
to receive him, the young lad went to the office. Wang 
introduced them, and with all the grace and ease of an 
adult the little fellow acted his part. He promptly an- 
swered questions and after a few moments politely thanked 
"His Excellency" for the honor and backed from his 
presence. We have seen perhaps twenty or thirty chil- 
dren of the official and high-rank people, and these gra- 
cious manners seem natural to them. I must also assure 



IMPRESSIONS OF CHINA 289 

you that these gracious manners are not confined to 
higher classes. The non-official and untitled people 
down to the servants know how to be polite, and are so, 
even under most trying circumstances. If there is a 
raging storm within, they do not wish to "lose face" by 
giving vent to their feelings. I have detected charming 
characteristics in the Chinese of which the foreigner dare 
not boast. I believe in the sincerity of their friendship. 
I do not believe in all of their pretended friendships nor 
do I in the pretended friendships of foreigners. There 
is an active current in the true that marks out the real 
from the false, the living from the dead. 



[To a Friend] 

American Legation, Peking, 

February 18, igo/j.. 
THE locked and barred doors of centuries are little by 
little swinging ajar, and the world looks through into a 
house — a home — all China's own. At first, as we look 
we see nothing but confusion; we see no method, and 
everything seems to be done backwards; we see customs 
without meaning, education without value, religion with- 
out a redeeming feature; we are amused at the people, 
at their style of clothes, of wearing their hair; at their 
modes of locomotion; their process of tilling the soil; 
their ancestor worship; their attitude toward women. 
We ridicule their amusements, and doubt their sincerity 
in all things. In fact, we deride, belittle, and wofully 
underrate everything Chinese. We feel that with the 
banner of progress in our hands, with superior knowledge 
and wisdom in our minds, and determination in our 



2 9 o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

hearts, a reformation must come to this household that 
God has forsaken. What child or barbarian has come 
unbidden into this home? China is a nation that has 
stood self-supporting for over four thousand years. Dark 
clouds and fierce storms have come upon her from time 
to time, but she has baffled them, stemmed the threaten- 
ing billows, and stood like a rock. She has lived to see 
other nations come into being, war, and fade away, while 
she has lived on and on without the war-thought to in- 
crease her burdens or to protect herself. 

What is it that has made her life so long? Is there 
not some recognition of the eternal trv^h of God that this 
great old nation has woven into her warp and woof, which 
has made her stand ? The object of my letters is to show 
you something of the thought of this dense population 
and vast empire as I have seen it. If we can detect their 
line of thought, we can better comprehend their actions. 
Let us be unbiassed, charitable, and watch to see if we 
cannot find that which we would assign to the good. As 
nearly as we can, let us look from their standpoint, as 
well as from our own. It may be that we shall learn 
lessons of value to our own living. Many books record 
dates and a detailed history of China. My letters record 
little else than my own experiences. Because I honestly 
wish to be a friend to the Chinese and to gain their friend- 
ship, ways have been bountifully and graciously opened to 
me that have never been opened before. Not long ago a 
lady said to me, "Mrs. Conger, how can you receive these 
Chinese in your home and mingle with them ? I hate the 
Chinese." I as earnestly replied, "Because I really wish 
to know them.. I like the Chinese." This very thought 
has opened the locked doors and hearts, and has per- 



THE PORTRAIT COMPLETED 291 

mitted me to enter where no other foreign lady ever 
entered. May all my actions and words be so guided 
by the Christ-spirit that they may lead into love and not 
into hatred. True, all do not have the same desires or the 
same treasure accumulations. Each carries his own 
keys to his treasures and they do not fit all locks. I trust 
that I may do naught to disappoint these people, who now 
believe in my friendship. I sometimes feel that I have 
touched the key-note to the rhythm of their real hearts. 
The articulations of the heart are often smothered by the 
rebuffs, while a little calm attention, sympathy, or ac- 
knowledgment reveal tones harmonious, yet quite new to 
the listener. 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
April 9, 1904.. 

DURING the process of painting the Empress Dowa- 
ger's portrait I was twice summoned by Her Majesty to 
note its progress, and now I have returned from a most 
satisfactory visit at the Imperial Palace. The portrait 
is finished, and there is great rejoicing to-day over the 
event. Miss Carl, the artist, has been working upon it 
for many weeks. Thursday Her Majesty sent an in- 
vitation to the wives of the Ministers and Secrt varies of 
the Diplomatic Corps to " proceed to the palace" to see 
the portrait. 

The Empress Dowager received the ladies informally. 
She was seated in an Imperial chair in one of the beautiful 
reception rooms. After Her Majesty had greeted us and 
spoken many cordial words to each lady, we were invited 
to see the portrait. Before we left the reception room, 



292 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Her Majesty returned to me and said that she hoped I 
would be pleased with the portrait in which I had mani- 
fested so great an interest. Her Majesty also said that 
she intended to send it to the St. Louis Exposition in 
America, and later she was going to present it to the 
United States Government. I expressed my great de- 
light and said that from time to time I would visit its 
honored place and with renewed delight look upon a 
picture of Her Majesty's face, form, and surroundings, 
the original of which I had so many times been permitted 
to look upon with true joy. 

After expressing our appreciation of the audience so 
graciously given, we passed from Her Majesty's presence. 
We were carried some distance in covered palace-chairs 
to a large building properly lighted for painting. Here 
were the portrait and the artist. Surely, Her Imperial 
Majesty was there upon her throne in all her Oriental 
splendor! Not a stroke of the brush but told its story. 
Everything in form, place, and color had its significance. 
True to the Chinese idea there were characters, symbols, 
seals, and decorations. All spoke a silent, but positive 
language, and so did each of the thousands of pearls, large 
and small, and each of the other precious stones, which 
stood out beautifully before me in their richness. But 
that which was far more to me was the Imperial woman 
sitting there in her strength of character. As I gazed at 
the portrait I could recall a sweet tone of voice, a gentle 
clasp of hand, a cordial smile that bespoke a welcome 
not easy for any nationality to surpass. There is a 
chord in human nature when played upon by woman, 
that woman can hear and appreciate. I do not uphold 
the dark bloodstains in China, nor elsewhere, — I deeply 



SENTIMENTS OF FRIENDSHIP 293 

lament them; but we should not fail to welcome the 
little streams of good that alone will wash out the stains. 
Each individual must watch the working out of this life's 
battle from the standpoint of his own heights, and then 
act his part. 

I trust that the many thousands of people who look 
upon this portrait in America will study those eyes, — they 
are Her Majesty's; will study the expression of the face, — 
it is Her Majesty's; will study the pose and grace of 
manner, — they are Her Majesty's; will study the mean- 
ing of those emblems and all the environment, — they 
are Her Majesty's, and are true to China. 

[To a Sister] 

Legation Home, Peking, 
April 16, 1 go 4.. 

TO-DAY Manchu ladies tiffined with us in our Lega- 
tion home. Our large table smiled a glad welcome in its 
dress of beautiful flowers. Missionary ladies ably helped 
to entertain these Princesses, wives of high officials, and 
members of their families who were our guests. These 
ladies are bright and entertaining. Before we were 
seated I expressed good wishes for their Imperial Majes- 
ties, for China, and for her people. As soon as I had 
finished speaking, a bright, educated lady, Mrs. Yu, with- 
out hesitation, lifted her glass, and said: 

"May the great ruler of America, Minister and Mrs. 
Conger, and the ladies here present with us, have every 
blessing. May their lives be as the mountains which 
never decay, and their happiness as broad and deep as 
the sea, and may all their undertakings prove auspicious." 



294 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

(Interpreted by Miss Porter.) What lady could have 
been more clever? 

It seems to me that the Chinese character is always at 
its best. It is dignified, and yet cordial. It is not dis- 
turbed amid unaccustomed and trying circumstances. 
These ladies are not hard to entertain, and, as is generally 
supposed, they do not tlk about dress and follies. The 
education of the foreigner and the education of the Chinese 
are along different lines. If we are able to get even a slight 
clue to the subjects with which they are acquainted, and 
begin to ask questions about them, their faces brighten, 
and they talk fluently and intelligently. 

An American admiral in speaking of the Chinese 
ladies said to me, " What do you ladies talk about — dress 
and jewels?" Before I had time to answer, Mr. Conger 
replied, " Quite the contrary. They talk about the Man- 
churian troubles, political questions, and many things 
pertaining to their Government." I was greatly pleased, 
for what he said would be received with much more 
weight and influence than any answer of mine. 

As I wish to know the things that have hitherto been 
locked from me, I frequently invite different Chinese 
ladies to my home and ask some of the missionaries to 
assist me. As we converse I find that we have many 
thoughts and ideas in common, and I can often say to 
them that we have customs corresponding to theirs. We 
celebrate, worship, give thanks, visit cemeteries, and 
decorate the graves of our loved ones; we rejoice over 
birthdays and have feast days with thoughts akin to 
theirs. Our methods of expressing worship, grief, joy, 
and gratitude; our standards of right and wrong, of 
rewards and punishments, differ. They seem pleased to 




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CORNERSTONE OF LEGATION 295 

learn of our customs, and I am truly glad to learn of theirs. 
I often tell these Chinese ladies that I recognize that our 
customs of etiquette differ in form, but are quite alike at 
heart. And I ask that we each carry out our own, as far 
as we can, each feeling that no offence is intended, for we 
are friends. 

My helpers are ladies of the American missions, with- 
out whose assistance I should be almost helpless in 
accomplishing what I am trying to do. The Chinese and 
American ladies have already learned that neither is so 
inferior as ignorance would make them appear. We have 
become acquainted, and are friends. May no misunder- 
standing blight this growing friendship before it ripens into 
a rich harvest. Our intercourse is more frequent as the 
months pass, and compliments are given and returned. 

[To Daughter Laura] 

American Legation, Peking, 
April 10, 1 go 4.. 
THE day for laying the cornerstone of the Minister's 
future home in the American Legation in Peking has just 
passed. It has been a lovely day — sunshine without 
and sunshine within. Americans gathered upon Ameri- 
can soil and under America's Stars and Stripes to rejoice 
in America's own way. This is an auspicious day in our 
country's forward march. She has this day, with a step 
onward and upward, planted her banner with the sister- 
hood of great nations in the dignity of owning her home 
in foreign representation. Our people at home cannot 
realize what this signifies in the sight of the world, or what 
it signifies to American diplomats who, under adverse 



296 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

circumstances, are striving to maintain with dignity the 
honors due their country. May the merit of this de- 
parture be so apparent as to lead our Government to make 
greater and still greater departures in this line. 

Mr. Nealy, the architect and builder, had a beautiful, 
heavy silver trowel made out of Chinese silver dollars and 
invited me to use it in sealing the cornerstone. The trowel 
was then placed in an exquisite inlaid Chinese box and 
presented to me by Mr. Nealy. It is a real treasure and 
my children shall see it. The short addresses of good 
cheer given by Mr. Nealy and your father you shall also 
see. They are in safe keeping with many other valuable 
papers which we are saving for our little granddaughter 
Sarah. 

My visits with the Chinese ladies are becoming of 
more and more value to me. They are more frequent, 
but they never interfere with my other social duties. I 
am learning something of the awful sufferings and great 
losses of the Chinese during the reign of madness in 1900. 
But the deepest heart sorrows of the Chinese no one can 
ever know. My dear child, although you were in that 
awful siege, if you could go into these palace homes where 
I am permitted to go, all bitterness would flee before 
tender sympathy's awakening call. I do not approve of 
all that I see in their home life ; but, as we differ in opin- 
ion on those points, they cannot approve of my ideas. 
My dear parents used to say repeatedly, " Remember that 
you are just as far from other people as they are from 
you. ,, I find much that I admire and much that I call 
good in the Chinese character. If the spirit of good is 
there, it does not matter by what name man calls it, it will 
do its good work. 



IMPERIAL INDUSTRIAL SCHOOL 297 

"The Woman's Winter Refuge" is prospering through 
the workings of unselfish love. The little books of reports 
sent upon their message last July did their good work. 
Checks, drafts, and post-office orders have been coming, 
coming, coming to us; and not only money has been 
coming, but some of the richest, most encouraging words 
that man ever uttered. They are surely " free-will offer- 
ings." Through these responses we have purchased our 
home and have money in the bank. 

I have become much interested in the Imperial In- 
dustrial School. It is an institution that I have been visit- 
ing alone and with friends from its beginning. Its growth 
has been wonderful. A wealthy Chinese conceived the 
idea of helping his poverty-stricken street people, especi- 
ally young boys. He has many under his supervision, 
whom he entirely supports while they are being taught. 
His desire was to make them self-supporting by instruct- 
ing them in some line of useful work. His pathway has 
not been free from thorns, but he has struggled through 
these thorny places, and the school has grown into a 
prosperous enterprise. It has many lines of industries 
and hundreds of workers. 

I love to visit the many different departments of this 
school and watch the gentle touch of these quiet, attentive 
workers. In the cloisonne rooms small boys are sitting 
quietly filling the many little cells with colors. They go 
right on with their work as though you were elsewhere. 
Everything is done by hand and hand machinery. I ob- 
tained samples of the six different processes necessary 
to bring the cloisonne' to its beautiful finish. They make 
wonderful pieces both of cloisonne and enamel. This 
institution has upon its premises a large shop, well filled 



298 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

with this beautiful work. The school also has furniture 
and- cart factories. What is especially interesting to me 
is the rug factory. It is an enterprise in itself. I never 
tire of watching these men and boys filling in the designs 
with quiet accuracy. I noticed that there was no pattern 
before them and questioned the overseer, " Where is their 
pattern?" Touching his head he said, "Here it is, in 
the man's and child's mind. They take the pattern and 
study it — learn it, then reproduce it in the rug." 

I looked with keener interest at those men and boys. 
Here is another indication of their economy and memory. 
They are not prodigal of their time by continually refer- 
ring to the pattern; instead, they take it as a whole and 
work right on. Why not? I said no more, but I stud- 
ied that unlimited thought that had been given to me. 
We, in our embroidery, work from pattern, study one or 
two stitches, or a part, reproduce what we have seen, and 
then go back to our pattern, while the Chinese take the 
pattern as a whole. Let us ponder this thought. There 
is much in it for us all. I have since noticed that this is 
not a new, nor an unusual, idea to the Chinese. While 
they do not limit their time in bringing out the best in 
their work, they do economize their time. 

The foreigner sees much of the sober or stolid side 
of the Chinese character, but there is a sparkling mirth 
that comes forth in joyousness when you know them and 
call it out. The Chinese are placing telephones in 
their homes. Yesterday several of the ladies were visit- 
ing me. With keenest enjoyment they told some things 
which they learn through the telephone, but I will not 
tell their secrets. These ladies are quietly but surely 
learning many things. I find that they are interested 



RUSSO-JAPANESE WAR 299 

in the affairs of their own country and also in the affairs 
of other countries. They study the edicts and read 
their newspapers. At times I refer to items and events 
to bring out their ideas and I find that they have much 
information to give. My thought of these people is 
intensified as I get nearer to them. 

The Russo-Japanese War is a terrible sacrifice. We 
are so near that we can almost hear the awful bombard- 
ing, feel the earth quiver, and see the ocean stained with 
blood. Think of it, two nations warring upon another 
nation's domain! The world looks on in gasping sur- 
prise. The Japanese are working in unison. Japan 
has clearly planned her work and executes fearlessly. 
History records nothing like it. May this river of blood 
soon cease to flow! 



[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
May 2, 1Q04.. 

SEVERAL days ago large red Chinese envelopes con^ 
taining invitations issued by Dowager Princess K'e were 
received by Mrs. Headland, your Aunt Vinnie, Miss 
Campbell, Mrs. Edward Lowry, your cousin Lavinia, 
and myself to witness the presentation of the gifts intended 
for her youngest son's bride. This celebration was to 
be held the day before she was married. 

Two months ago the Dowager Princess gave me a 
verbal invitation to the festivities preceding the mar- 
riage. We were greatly delighted with this privilege and 
honor extended for the first time to foreign ladies. None 
of us had the least conception what we should be per- 



300 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

mitted to see. We knew, however, that we should not 
see the bride or groom, nor any part of the real marriage 
ceremony. This is witnessed only by those members 
of the family who were born under the signs of the Zo- 
diac harmonious with those of the bride and groom. 

As we entered the Dowager Princess' walled palace, 
with its many gates, courts, and buildings, we met three 
Princesses' carts and their many outriders just leaving. 
What a picture they made! Red carts, outriders in uni- 
form, and horses gayly saddled ! The brilliancy and dig- 
nity of these guests made us realize in part the importance 
of the occasion. The ladies of the household in beauti- 
ful embroidered gowns, exquisite in colorings, delicately 
painted faces, and elaborate, festive head ornaments, 
came out from the large open door and down the wide 
stone steps, to meet us near the centre of a paved court, 
which was beautifully decorated in red, the wedding 
color. What a picture! Would that I could portray to 
you the beauty, the color, the harmony, the very joy of 
that picture. 

The grace, quiet dignity, and cordial welcome of these 
highbred Chinese ladies flowed from culture's fountain. 
After they greeted us we were escorted into a large re- 
ception room, presented to many guests, and tea was 
served. Soon we heard music approaching. All arose 
and were invited to take seats upon the veranda facing 
the gateway opening into a court where we could see an 
elaborate display of beautiful Chinese gifts coming to the 
new home of the bride. First came the musicians with 
their large gilded drums, horns of many kinds, cymbals, 
and other instruments. From the time they entered un- 
til all was finished, they played weird strains. The court 



RICH WEDDING GIFTS 301 

began to fill. On stands with red embroideries and 
decorated trays were rich gifts almost without number. 
There were over one hundred of these stands. They 
kept coming, coming, coming, and with great precision 
each stand was put in what seemed to be its appointed 
place. Guests kept arriving and the Princesses always 
went down into the court to meet them. The saluta- 
tion in meeting their guests was most interesting. Each 
lady steps into her place and at the proper moment 
greets the guest. Then in order they ascend the steps; 
the guests taking the lead. We sat where we could see 
each party as it entered and was received. There was 
no commotion, as each one knew her place, and seemed 
happy in it. This idea of place is taught them from their 
early childhood. A Chinese lady guest explained to us 
the rank, decorations, and their meaning. 

The court filled fuller and fuller with these gifts. I 
could not believe what I saw before me. It all seemed 
an extravagant dream-picture. After the court was 
rilled, the carriers began to take into this bride's new 
home beautifully carved tables, large and small, chairs, 
stools, cabinets, wardrobes, and k'ang furniture. After 
these articles were placed, then began the task of carry- 
ing these court gifts into the house and arranging them. 
We were then invited to a sumptuous feast that was 
purely Chinese. After this feast we were asked to visit 
the new home. We again entered the court, now empty, 
but did not hasten to enter the home. We studied the 
designs of the decorations on this building. The entire 
front was bedecked with wedding symbols. Great 
papier-mdche dragons were twined about the large teak 
columns on either side of the centre doorway. The heads 



3Q2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

and claws of these dragons reached out as if to protect 
the entrance. The rooms were bare until these gifts 
were taken into them. We entered, and such a surprise 
awaited us. Perfect order and composure greeted our 
eyes. It looked as though everything had known its place 
and had at once stepped into it. 

The Dowager Princess opened box after box of val- 
uable jewels and showed them to us. The pearls and 
precious stones were exquisite in their Oriental arrange- 
ment. We were taken from room to room. While we 
admired and were greatly pleased, we were continually 
on our guard not to be obtrusive nor to offend in the least, 
and we seemed to avoid the stumbling-blocks. After 
expressing our gratitude to the Dowager Princess and the 
receiving ladies, we took our departure. 

As we left the Chinese palace with its Oriental build- 
ings and colorings, we were escorted through another 
large court, where the bride's chair was standing in all 
of its red trappings, embroideries of phoenixes, dragons, 
flowers, and good-luck and good-wish characters. On 
the heavy veil of the bride, on wedding gifts and decora- 
tions, two "love characters' ' are united with a bar, and 
this union signifies two loves united. The same double 
characters are also used for birthdays. There were 
many beautiful glass lanterns hanging on large red racks. 
All the things in this court were waiting for the midnight 
hour to come that they might play their part in escorting 
the bride to her future home. 

We passed on and out of this dreamland where we 
had been so cordially received and entertained, entered 
our chairs and carts, and our mounted mafoos, chair- 
bearers, carters, and other attendants started us home- 



THE LIFE OF THE PEOPLE 303 

ward. Curtained in my chair alone during the hour's 
journey to the Legation, I had time and opportunity to 
recall many of the events of the past year. They came 
thick and fast and were aglow with the light of sincere 
gratitude. I have accomplished much of my heart's 
great desire to know the Chinese ladies in their homes; to 
get nearer to them and learn of them and perhaps to let 
them learn a little of the heart and ways of a foreign lady. 
What I have seen and learned, and the deep impressions 
made upon my thought, volumes could not relate. 
When I first came to China everything was wildly new 
and foreign to my comprehension. I had only mer- 
chants, servants, and the coolie classes with whom to 
deal. I was determined to study them and find the good 
in their natures if I could. I did find it, and this helped 
me to find greater things. I became very fond of my 
servants, and we were friends. We continue to be friends, 
and I consider them to be the best of servants. I ap- 
preciate the little surprises they have for us from time 
to time and let them know that I do. Beneath the ap- 
parently blank countenances I can detect a little sparkle 
of joy, and sometimes I can detect the shadows of cloud- 
thoughts. As a class they are very secretive, and con- 
ceal their inmost thoughts from me, as I conceal mine from 
them. Human nature is about the same everywhere; 
its traits differ in degree, owing to education and cir- 
cumstances. 

From my first coming into this walled and locked 
country, I greatly desired to see and know about the life 
of this people, and little by little this life has been revealed 
to me. Quietly, continuously, earnestly, with my heart 
in my efforts, I have gone right on, striving to give as 



3 o 4 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

well as to receive. At each step my interest, trust, and 
friendship increase. To know the men only, exclusive 
of the women, we know not one half of a home or of a 
nation, because we do not see the feminine influences, nor 
the influence of the two combined. The man has his 
accomplishments, the woman has hers, and the two to- 
gether make up the grand whole. 

Mrs. Headland is an accepted physician and a beloved 
friend of many of the higher Chinese families; and her 
attractive appearance, winning ways, good work, good 
judgment, and sincere friendship have won for her a warm 
place in the homes of many of the high officials. Through 
her innate tact, broad thought, and great love for the good 
she may do, I have been able to come into personal touch 
with many of these Chinese ladies. I sought the oppor- 
tunity for my first call upon Chinese ladies by saying to 
His Excellency Li Hung Chang that, if agreeable to him 
and his family, I should be pleased to call and pay my 
respects. This was in 1899. The first audience given 
by Her Imperial Majesty to the seven ladies of the Diplo- 
matic Corps was sought and urged by the foreign Ministers. 
After the troubles of 1900 and the return of the Court, Her 
Majesty assumed a different attitude, and, of her own 
accord, issued many invitations for audiences, and these 
invitations were accepted. Then followed my tiffin to 
the Court Princesses and their tiffin in return. This 
opened the way for other Princesses and wives of high 
officials to call, receive calls, to entertain, and be enter- 
tained. In many cases arrangements were made through 
our mutual friend, Mrs. Headland. Sometimes the 
officials themselves would arrange for the visits of their 
wives and families. Children often came, even boys fif- 



THE FONDNESS FOR CHILDREN 305 

teen years of age. The children adhere to rules of 
etiquette, and are attractive in their child manners, which 
are void of shyness, and yet are obedient. 

So step by step, I am gaining my heart's desire; I 
am learning to know and to love these Chinese ladies; 
I am gaining a fuller view of life. 



[To Our Daughter] 

American Legation, Peking, 
June 3, igoq.. 

TO-DAY is our darling Sarah's birthday. Richest con- 
gratulations go to you on love's wings from parents and 
grandparents. Our little Sarah is one year old to-day! 

A very sweet thing happened this morning, and you 
will appreciate it. Our first amah, your amah, never 
forgets "Miss Laura." If she sees anything that is 
especially associated with you, she will put her hand upon 
it tenderly and say, "Miss Laura — no can see." This 
morning she came to me with a beautiful solid silver mug 
deeply hammered in dragon design; the body of a dragon 
forms the handle, and the 'head looks over into the mug, 
as if after water. On one side of this cup is a polished 
place bearing the word "Sarah" engraved upon it. The 
mug is a real beauty. Amah handed it to me and said, 
"Miss Laura's baby." I said, "Why, Amah! You sent 
Miss Laura's baby a beautiful present before." She 
replied, "Yes, but Miss Laura's baby one year old." 
Later I will send it to you. I knew nothing about it. All 
by herself she got the "Silver man" to make it, then went 
to Miss Campbell to write "Sarah" — and here it is on 
the cup in Maurine's own writing. 



3 o6 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Our baby Sarah has received many rich and beautiful 
gifts from Her Imperial Majesty, from the families of 
Chinese officials of all grades, from our friends in Peking 
both Chinese and foreign, and from the many servants of 
our household. Last night there came to me to forward 
to the little granddaughter a complete set of Chinese 
clothes in a lovely silk box. This gift came with touching 
pathos. In the past two years I have formed highly 
prized friendships with the Chinese ladies. Among 
these ladies was the Grand Secretary Wang Wen Shao's 
beautiful, accomplished young wife. His Excellency 
Wang Wen Shao is an aged man of high rank. He is 
Vice-President of the Wai Wu Pu, or Foreign Office, stands 
next to Prince Ch'ing in rank, and is general director of 
the Board of Finance. His wife and Mrs. Kao, his 
granddaughter, another dear Chinese friend of mine, 
were about the same age and great friends. They were 
both lovable, attractive, educated ladies, and they mani- 
fested sincerity and depth of feeling. These two ladies 
conceived the idea of doing something for my baby grand- 
daughter. Days passed into weeks and I did not see 
them and my life was so full that I did not make inquiries 
about them. On Thanksgiving day I learned through 
Mrs. Headland that Mrs. Wang Wen Shao had taken ill 
and died. Mrs. Kao went to Mrs. Headland to tell 
her of their sorrow and asked if she would go with her to 
bear the sad news to me. The day was set; she and His 
Excellency's daughter-in-law came and brought the 
message that the dear departed one had left for me. 
Many things were said of her beautiful character. Their 
call was not particularly a sad one, for we talked of the 
good qualities of their dear one and of the happy hours 











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Grand. Secretary Wang Wen Shao 

His Excellency Wang Kai-kah, Commissioner to St. Louis Exposition, 1904 

C. C. Wang, Legation Clerk, Now a Student in the United States 



A HOUSE OF MOURNING 307 

that we had passed together. They told me of her last 
message, as she called for a group photograph taken after 
a large tiffin at our home. Their quiet manners, sweet 
smiles, and tender words were touching. 

I asked if I might send flowers. When my request 
was granted, I asked which would be more acceptable, 
the paper or the fresh ones. The reply was that paper 
flowers were more in their line of thought, as they could 
keep them until the day of burial, then burn them. I 
will tell you some day of this custom. 

We drank our tea together and had our heart talks; 
then I asked when we might pay our respects to the 
memory of her who had a warm place in our affections. 

I had eight papier-mdche pots on papier-mdche stands 
made and filled with paper plants all in blossom. These 
were beautiful and almost perfect reproductions of 
painted porcelain pots, wooden standards, and living 
plants in fine foliage and blossom. There were four 
varieties and two of each. They were brought to me for 
my inspection after they were finished, then I sent them 
to the house of mourning. The next day we went to pay 
our respects. Your Aunt Vinnie and I went in chairs, 
the others in carts. We were received most kindly and 
accompanied through courts until we reached the one 
filled with the many gifts of banners, flowers, fruits, and 
emblems of many kinds. Above an altar upon which 
incense was burning was an excellent portrait of Mrs. 
Wang Wen Shao; before this portrait we bowed. The 
Chinese kneel on a cushion and strike their heads three 
times upon the floor. Behind her portrait and heavy 
curtains were the casket and the family mourners. We 
were asked if we would like to enter that sacred room. 



3 o8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

I asked in reply if other Chinese besides their family and 
relatives were permitted to enter. Upon being told that 
they were not, I thanked them most sincerely and said 
that as the rite was for her nearest and dearest, we would 
not enter. The little daughter, a darling, came out where 
we were and courtesied to us all, each in turn. She then 
returned to me and I placed my arms about her tenderly. 
Kisses were for her sweet, upturned face, but the Chinese 
never kiss, hence my sympathy and love were shown in 
other ways. This little lady was dressed in the mourner's 
sack cloth. We remained only a short time; then, again 
bowing, we took our departure and were escorted to a 
" feast" room. Everything upon the table had a beautiful 
meaning back of it. The little girl sat between Mrs. 
Headland and me and served us with the different kinds 
of food in a most gracious manner. On noticing that she 
did not partake of the food, I said, " You are not eating." 
She looked up with her big eyes and sweet expression and 
said, "I cannot eat." I at once replied, "You are right, 
and neither do I care to eat." There were many relatives 
there, and each showed us respect and consideration. I 
learned a valuable lesson that day. 

Weeks passed away, and I had not seen the dear little 
girl or any of the family until last night, when your father 
gave a dinner to some of the highest Chinese officials. 
His Excellency Wang Wen Shao was among the guests. 
Our boy Wang brought me the beautiful silk box which 
I send to you for Sarah, with this message from His Ex- 
cellency: "My wife had planned to make a suit of clothes 
for your granddaughter and had begun the garments 
before her sickness, but left them unfinished. I have 
had them completed, and I bring them myself as a humble 






HAPPY FAMILY RELATIONS 309 

gift in her memory." His Excellency thanked me very 
kindly for the plants and for our visit to their home. 
Knowing this dear lady and her gentle, yet bright char- 
acter and her winning ways, and knowing also what is 
said by foreigners to be the relation of Chinese husband 
and wife, I consider this a touching, pathetic incident. 
I opened the box and tenderly handled each lovely gar- 
ment, then replaced them. After dinner we ladies were 
in the drawing-room ready to receive the gentlemen. I 
then thanked His Excellency for the beautiful gift to our 
granddaughter and tried to express my appreciation of 
the loving thought. It is said that the Chinese lack feel- 
ing, but I do not find this to be true. 

Dear Laura, as your little one grows older, teach her 
the value of each of these many gifts so kindly sent to her 
from far-away China. Do not let the great number of 
them lessen their value. Each is as rich in its meaning 
as though it were the only one. 



[To Our Daughter Laura] 

American Legation, Peking, 
June 20, IQ04.. 
ONE of the most beautiful things that I have discov- 
ered in China — I say " discovered" because no other 
word expresses it — is the great, manifested love of 
children for their parents. I deem it a kindred of the 
Christ-thought. You must enter their homes and wit- 
ness and participate in their festivities, family gather- 
ings, and quiet home circles to realize ^ven to a slight 
extent the respect, tenderness, honor, and affection the 
Chinese parents receive. My greatest interest has been 



310 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

to learn about the Chinese mother, daughter, sister, and 
wife for the reason that so little is known of them by the 
outside world. These homes have been locked, barred, 
and screened from the foreigner. 

We have exchanged calls and " feasts" with Mrs. 
Heng and her attractive family and have become ac- 
quainted with them. Mrs. Heng is a widow. Her 
sixtieth birthday was celebrated most elaborately by her 
children, and we were invited to attend and participate 
in these honors, a favor we highly respected and appre- 
ciated. For two blocks each way from the palace en- 
trance, the street on either side was closely lined with 
chairs, carts, horses, and attendants. Way was made 
for our chairs to pass, and we went on and into the second 
court of the large compound. Here we were received 
and escorted through other courts, and into the presence 
of Lady Heng and her daughters; then into the brilliant 
gathering of the many relatives and friends. The ladies 
were all dressed in their extravagantly beautiful robes 
and jewelled ornaments for hair and person. With 
graces hard to surpass, we were cordially welcomed. 
Many were presented to us, and, after tea-serving, we were 
escorted to a large veranda. The seats were cushioned 
with the birthday colors and designs. This veranda 
overlooked a very large p'eng court, enclosed with painted 
glass bearing the birthday emblems and colors; hang- 
ings of elegant birthday embroideries adorned the sides; 
the posts of the court were also adorned. In the accu- 
racy of the Chinese idea of place and significance, were 
beautiful lanterns bedecked with jewels, tassels, and bright 
colors in keeping with the Chinese ladies who looked 
upon them. In front of this veranda, and across the 



A SOCIAL FUNCTION 311 

court, was one of the most brilliantly and richly dressed 
stages that I ever beheld at any Chinese theatre. The 
music and acting were full of life; all showed the spirit 
of rejoicing. The court was rilled with square polished 
tables at each of which were four cushioned stools. 
Gentlemen, relatives and friends of the family, were 
seated at these tables drinking tea, partaking of other 
refreshments, and happily talking. The sons and Chi- 
nese gentlemen whom we knew came to us and with ex- 
tended hand greeted us. While the Chinese ladies and 
gentlemen do not mingle socially, they attend these fes- 
tivities apart. The Chinese ladies occupied the veranda, 
the gentlemen the court below. Each gentleman was in 
his official robe, beads, and hat. Guests kept coming 
and going, but the court was full all the while. The 
picture was a fairy one. I could scarcely believe what 
I saw. The people and their surroundings were in keep- 
ing and a quiet dignity governed them, yet there was a 
living activity of joy in this dignity. 

While we were observing and listening, the coming 
of Her Majesty's gift was announced. All arose as it 
passed through the court and into a special place of 
honor prepared for it. In their accustomed way Lady 
Heng, her family, and the Chinese guests paid their 
respects to Their Imperial Majesties through this gift; 
then we entered and, with a courteous bow, looked upon 
these handsomely mounted, hanging characters of good 
wishes written by Her Majesty's "own hand and brush." 
I would say right here that I have not visited one of these 
Manchu or Chinese homes where Their Majesties' good 
wishes have not entered. "Long Life," "Happiness," 
"Peace," "Prosperity," are not idle characters, they 



3 i2 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

contain a living meaning. Each gift has its own sig- 
nificance. The Decoration of the Double Dragon, the 
sceptre, and the short yellow coat are the highest of all 
the gifts that Their Majesties bestow. It is a prevailing 
custom among the Chinese to express their remembrance 
of one another and of their friends through simple or 
valuable gifts, each of which is rich in wishes, whether 
or not in intrinsic value. 

After sitting for a time in the midst of these gorgeous 
scenes, striving all the while to obtain an accurate, indeli- 
ble impression of the whole, we were graciously led away 
to a "feast." On our return we remained but a short 
time. We expressed our appreciation and said our 
good-byes amid many urgent invitations to remain during 
the evening. We then passed out into the courts with 
their soft, many-colored lights, and here our tingshi 
met us with our large official lanterns. 

We never go out and remain until night approaches 
but these lighted balloons come to cheer us safely through 
the dimly lighted streets. If we are caught away from 
home in a storm while making a call or taking a walk, 
our faithful servants find us with rubbers, umbrellas, 
and wraps. They watch and attend to these duties 
without one word from us. We go empty-handed and 
they look after our meals. We do not have to think, 
"We must get home before dark, as we have no lantern"; 
or "We must hasten home — a rain threatens, and we 
have no umbrella or rubbers." We know that they will 
be waiting for us at the door. 

I am going to tell you about a Prince who called 
recently, Prince Pu Lun, who ranks near the Throne. 
When calling upon your father he asked if his wife might 



PRINCE PI) LUN AND FAMILY 313 

call, and requested that only your father and Mr. Wil- 
liams be present. It was my desire to talk with this 
Princess, and as I must have an interpreter, I invited 
Mrs. Headland to come and assist me. About the stated 
hour for the Princess' coming, the Prince came in an 
official cart. Shortly after, his wife entered the court 
in a red princess's chair. This was her first visit to a 
foreign home. The gentlemen had their conversation 
and the ladies theirs. We soon passed to the dining- 
room and enjoyed our refreshments together. After 
leaving the table, the ladies withdrew to the library and 
left the drawing-room for the gentlemen; I hope their 
visit was as satisfactory as ours. 

Princess Pu Lun is beautiful in voice, conversation, 
manner, face, apparel, and ornaments. We wished to 
know her better,, A return call was arranged, and the 
day was full of quiet joy. Prince Pu Lun received us 
with his charming Princess. We sat at table together, 
and, with deference to each other, they answered our 
questions. We recognized the distinction they made. 
Their attitude toward each other as husband and wife 
and toward their guests was beautiful. We were shown 
through attractive apartments which vied in daintiness 
and elegance with the Princess who entered them. 

I said that we were fond of children and asked if we 
might be permitted to see their little ones. Two bright 
little boys entered. Their manners were polite and full 
of grace. I asked if we might see the baby, and I really 
held in my arms that dear baby prince. He looked 
straight at me with a quiet, searching look. What did 
the little fellow think ? He did not cry nor seem to think 
of such a thing. 



3H LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Prince Pu Lun is one of the Commissioners to the St. 
Louis Exposition, and I ventured to say to him that I 
would be greatly pleased if his wife could accompany 
him to America. I said that I should be delighted to 
have my people receive and know a representative Chi- 
nese Princess. 

[To a Sister] 

American Legation, Peking, 
June 20, 1904.. 

FOREIGN educational work has established itself in 
China, and holds a large and increasing following. It 
is taken from the kindergarten through many grades and 
the equipment and honors of college and university. We 
visit these institutions and see much of their work. 

English is extensively taught, but never to the exclu- 
sion of a careful study of the Chinese language. 

Mr. Conger employed one of the Peking University 
students as a clerk in his Legation office. This young 
man spoke English, was quick to learn, accurate, and 
always faithful in his work. He is now in the United 
States for special study. The educational advantages 
given by the missions are extensive, far-reaching, and 
bear a growing activity. They fill an important place 
in mission work. 

I am learning that it does not matter so much about 
the amount we do, as it does about the quality of what 
we do. I wish that I had time to tell you some of my 
impressions of things here as I see them to-day. More 
and more I am permitted to enter the Chinese palaces 
and the homes of the higher classes. As I become better 
acquainted with the Chinese by receiving them and being 



POPPY FIELDS AND OPIUM 315 

received, I become more interested in them. We are 
friends, and some day I hope to tell you of the many 
things they do for us. The story is a long and beautiful one. 

By permission from the Court, we have just visited 
the Imperial Western Tombs. The courtesy of a private 
car was extended to us, and everything was done for 
our pleasure on the way to the Tombs, while there, and 
on our return. Princes, dukes, and officers visited us, 
and we were served with " feasts" and shown many 
attentions. The Tombs were opened — even the most 
sacred places, — and officials accompanied us to explain 
the hidden meaning. It is a wonderfully beautiful spot. 
Everything is on the imperial scale, and a new book of 
valuable details was opened to us. Miss Campbell is 
writing an account of the trip, and will send it to you. 
We passed by large fields of blooming poppies, beautiful 
in their white, pink, and green. This surely is the land 
of the poppy! Some fields were ready for*; the -gathering of 
the opium, and we watched with interest the crude pro- 
cesses for gathering this costly article of commerce. A 
knife for gashing the seed bulb, their fingers, and a tiny 
cup were their only equipments for gathering the opium; 
but Chinese economy saved it all. 

On our return we visited our missionary friends of 
siege days at Paoting Fu. We visited the places where 
the old missions stood, and where bitter hatred did its 
dastardly work. The enraged fiend knew not what he 
did. He strove to mock and crucify the Christ-spirit, but 
with the stability of Truth, this spirit rises untouched. 
The Morning Star shines still brighter through the 
atmosphere of those martyrs. Love's battles are over- 
coming Hatred's revolt. 



3 i6 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

We found the missions rebuilt and all their many lines 
of work moving on with activity. The Chinese converts 
who survived the troubles of 1900 and bore their awful 
test are strong helpers to-day, and there is more interest 
manifested, far more sympathy offered, and more respect 
shown the Christian thought than ever before. 

To-day is the twentieth of June, the anniversary of 
the day we went into siege. Some are commemorating 
it, but I have no desire to do so. The fourteenth of 
August is my day to commemorate. God be praised for 
His loving, protecting care over us, and for the deliverance 
that came to us; and may we secretly shed tears in mem- 
ory of those who sacrificed their lives in those awful days! 

[To a Friend] 

American Legation, Peking, 
October 25, IQ04.. 

YOU ask how I learned about the Chinese, about the 
missionaries and their work. In reply I would say that 
I first studied my attitude. Our attitude determines our 
view and opportunity for information and progress. This 
is true with every part of this life's living, and the care 
with which we study our attitude should not be a minor 
thing. 

Experience having taught me this lesson, when I came 
to China it was my unyielding effort, from the first, to 
learn all that I could of her people and from her people. 
Impossibilities stared me in the face. High walls, locked 
gates, curtained chairs and carts, and long-established 
customs concealed completely the official and higher 
classes of the Chinese ladies from contact with the for- 



OPENING CHINA'S DOORS 317 

eigners and even from their view. The streets of Peking 
were thronged with men, but women were seldom seen. 
Still it was truly "the city of the blue gown." With 
most earnest prayers that I might meet the higher-class 
people and know them, I sought for opportunities to have 
these prayers answered. I listened for the answers. At 
first they came in whisperings, and gratitude inspired 
hope. I steadfastly but quietly worked with a definite 
aim in view. 

China, with her centuries of history, is no child in her 
thought and action. Thousands of years she had stood 
independent of all other peoples, and she wished to con- 
tinue thus; but the great sisterhood of nations would no 
longer permit this independence. Little by little these 
nations opened China's doors. They persuaded and 
forced her to join hands with them, and even to divide her 
possessions with them. Strange demands! The thought 
of individuality seemed to permeate the entire domain 
of China. The Chinese walled in their great empire 
over two hundred years before Jesus Christ; they walled 
in their cities, also the palaces and homes of the cities. 
They never extended their hands in friendly greeting, but 
clasped their own hands. Their homes were exclusive 
and very difficult to enter. Even their industries were 
local. The thoughts governing their customs are kindred 
thoughts. They have formed, and still form, strong 
thought barricades. Their language, written and spoken, 
is their very own and most intricate. How could any 
impression be made upon them? 

The pioneer into this fortified, almost iron-clad, nation 
was the missionary thought. No other could have 
entered. It goes to stay, to stem the tides of difficulties 



3i8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

and discouragements, to face the blasts of hatred, to rise 
above the stings of scoffers, in fact, to stand, ever waving 
the "Love Banner" in Christ's spirit. If we wish to learn 
about any enterprise or cause, let us go to the friends and 
workers in this enterprise or cause. To learn of the mis- 
sionary work, let us go to the self-sacrificing workers in 
the fields and see and study their work. 

At first two American gentlemen who were thorough 
Chinese scholars gave me great assistance. They took 
me to native boys' schools, to temples, shops, public 
demonstrations, and explained them. But what they 
could not give, I greatly desired to know. I wished to 
learn what the women and girls were doing. The mission- 
aries opened many of these avenues for me. Never can 
I forget what a strong desire my first visit to the mission 
girls' school awakened in me to know more of these 
Chinese girls. I continued my visits to these schools. 

Step by step for nearly seven years I have been enter- 
ing earnestly and perseveringly the secluded as well as the 
more open places for information. I have learned most 
valuable lessons to broaden and enrich my view of the 
meaning of one grand brotherhood. 



[To Our Daughter] 

Shanghai, November 12, igoq.. 

IN part I am going to write a diary letter. 

November 5. Miss Maurine Campbell and I bade 
good-bye to your father, to our Legation home, and to 
Peking for a three months' trip to South China. To-day 
we arrived in Shanghai after a delightful voyage down 
the coast. 



A FESTIVE OCCASION 319 

The foreign Ministers in Peking go to the Palace in 
audience to pay their respects and to bear congratulatory 
letters from their several Governments to the Empress 
Dowager of China in honor of Her Majesty's seventieth 
birthday. This is a diplomatic measure. Those Min- 
isters who have received such letters go in audience to-day. 
Your father is Dean of this first audience. 

Her Majesty's birthday falls in our November; their 
dates are determined according to the moons. On festive 
occasions the Chinese celebrate for many days, and those 
highest in rank express the fullest meaning of these occa- 
sions. In driving through the streets in the foreign con- 
cession of Shanghai, we saw many beautiful decorations 
in honor of Her Majesty's birthday. The Chinese stores 
were aglow with brilliant colors; even the Chinese flag 
was waving, a most unusual thing, as the flag, in China, 
is used only officially. I never before saw such a departure 
from old customs, but we must remember that this part 
of ^Shanghai does not belong to China; it is now a 
foreign concession, and Chinese laws are not enforced 
here. Myriads of beautiful lanterns in their almost end- 
less varieties added brilliancy to the many other decora- 
tions. The Chinaman proclaimed his loyalty to China 
and her rulers in such a way that the foreigner could 
understand that loyalty, even though he were in his for- 
eign concession. 

November 13. We visited the Nan Yang College, 
about five miles from the city. The grounds are exten- 
sive and are beautiful in their luxuriant, semi-tropical 
growth. The many buildings are fine and large. One 
of these is a Confucian temple building with tablet, where 
the college boys pay homage twice each month and on 



3 2o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

other special occasions. There is a gallery in the rear of 
this temple building opposite the tablet where a choir of 
boys sing while the others enter and kotow in front of the 
tablet. Respect shown the great Confucius quite ap- 
pealed to me, as he is China's redeemer and saviour. 
There are two hundred and fifty boys in this institution. 
They are given seven years' instruction in English, two 
in French, and two in German. We were taken through 
the many departments, and their different lines of work 
as explained to us were a revelation. 

November 14.. Our house-boat trip up the Grand 
Canal is full of interest. Mr. Fiske of Shanghai offered 
his fine boat for our trip of eight days. We are alone with 
our boy Li, other servants, the Captain, and the crew. 
"A house-boat!" was my first exclamation. I did not 
for one moment comprehend what a great favor, a great 
compliment, Mr. Fiske was bestowing upon us. I cannot 
realize that we are on a house- boat! There is furnace 
heat, and there are writing desks, easy chairs, sofas, car- 
pets, good beds, everything to make us comfortable. 
And we are on the Grand Canal of China! The idea 
conceived and executed ages ago by which South and 
North China are united by a navigable watercourse is 
one of the great engineering feats of the world. Through 
the centuries this canal has performed its duty, but other 
methods are causing the old highway to rest from its 
multiplied, toilsome labors. This canal, however, is not 
by any means useless. 

November 75. We arose early and went above. The 
morning is beautiful. Many well-filled junks are on the 
canal and there is much business done between the vil- 
lages we are passing. Surely this is a " Grand Canal"! 



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CONSULATE AT HANG CHOW 321 

We arrived in Hang Chow at four o'clock. Friends 
met us with chairs, and coolies to carry our baggage. 
There are no carts in this city; all labor is done by men, 
women, and children. We were taken to the Consulate, 
where we were entertained by Consul and Mrs. Anderson 
and the Vice-Consul, Mr. Cloud. Tea was served, then 
we took our chairs and were off for a picturesque six-mile 
ride over high-arched bridges with stone steps, and along 
banks of canal, river, and lake. We were dressed in our 
warm winter clothes and furs, while the chair coolies were 
bare from foot to far above the knee. Before we again 
reached the Consulate it was late twilight, the stars were 
shining, and the night-stillness was upon us. At the 
Consulate a delicious dinner and a good visit awaited us. 

November 16. Another day in chairs, seeking new 
experiences. Visited three factories and other places of 
interest. Thirty Americans and other foreigners called 
by invitation and brought with them stores of information 
"or us to feast upon. The Consulate is upon a high bluff 
overlooking a beautiful lake dotted with many islands, 
now rich in their autumn colorings. We observed about 
us many marks of patriotism, as the yellow and red colors 
were waving in honor of Her Majesty's seventieth birth- 
day. 

November 17. To-day we visited the missions, both 
British and American. Their different departments 
were well equipped. One of the hospital doctors said to 
me as we were passing a patient standing near: "Look 
at that eye ; there is no life in it. We would think that 
he should be in bed, but Chinese do not think so. They 
will go until they drop dead." 

A missionary told me that on one of his journeys he 



322 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

met an aged man who was measuring with the length of 
his body a pilgrimage of one hundred miles. He would 
kotow ', that is bump his head three times upon the ground, 
then prostrate himself full length; get up, repeat, and 
still repeat. The missionary asked what demanded this 
sacrifice, and in reply was told that it was to make good 
a solemn vow. The Chinese said, "My son was very ill. 
I prayed and made most sacred vows to the god of health 
that if he would spare my son, I would measure with my 
body every mile of this pilgrimage to the tombs of my 
ancestors. He was spared to me. I must keep my vow. 
No one can help me. I must go alone." He went on in 
his journey sustained, because the vow was in his heart. 

We attended the morning exercises in the large chapel, 
which was well filled with intelligent-looking boys and 
young men. The service was conducted in both Chinese 
and English. They sang in English, "No, Not One." 
While these Chinese young men were singing, this thought 
came to me : All nations sing, from the savage to the most 
cultured. Some sing independently of all others, as they 
have their own scales and tones. Many nations have 
adopted the same scale and use the same music. China 
has long sung alone, but little by little her people are join- 
ing the great sisterhood of nations and catching the 
tones and even the words of this sisterhood. 

It is remarkable what these people can do when they 
try. Chinese singing and music are very different from 
our singing and music ; hence it is wonderful to me when 
they adopt our ways, for in so doing, they must forsake 
their own. When we think them slow, our patience should 
equal theirs. Why should they be in haste to adopt ideas 
which they deem inferior? I have great sympathy for 



THE CHINESE STANDPOINT 323 

the Chinese, who wish to be let alone, but who are seeing 
their ideas supplanted, and their great old nation weak- 
ening through the influence of the foreigners. Their 
clock-work customs — ever the same — are broken into, 
and this brings confusion. China's coming generations 
will have mighty battles to fight and intricate questions 
to solve. But they can do all There is a stored power 
born of patience and nurtured by steadfastness, endurance, 
and love for their native land, and this power will show 
itself — but in China's own way. 

While I enjoy visiting these foreign schools for the 
Chinese and seeing the young men and women learning 
foreign ideas and how to use them, there is a pathetic side 
to it. To a certain extent, I see from the Chinese stand- 
point, and I question, "How should we Americans like 
to have other nations establish their schools to educate 
our youth out of the customs and principles of our Gov- 
ernment ?" But with the assurance that the eternal 
Might of Right will prevail, I see the fulfilment of the 
prophecy that, under the canopy of Love to God and 
good will to men, all people shall sit down together. 

Hang Chow, November 18. At eight o'clock A. m. 
we started in our chairs to visit the "Great Bore." On 
our way we saw the first carts that we had seen in this 
part of the country. Each was hauled by five water 
buffaloes. Our travels were through a rich, finely culti- 
vated country. The Sea Wall, built many centuries ago, 
after many failures, is a wonderful, historic road. We 
reached the spot where it is said that the bore, or tidal 
flood, can be seen, but there was no wind and the moon 
and season were against the coming and rising of this 
dreadful monster. The tide came in quietly and receded, 



324 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

but there was no bore. We did not hear its angry, deafen- 
ing roar as it marches irresistibly on and on. Your father 
has seen it in its awful grandeur. Although there was 
no bore to be seen, the trip was not a failure. Everything 
was new to us, although centuries had buried deep the 
conceivers and executors of the strange things we saw. A 
wonderfully strong, united thought must have wrought 
and cemented them. 

November ig. We took a house-boat and crossed 
the beautiful lake in front of the Consulate to a hill of 
temples. One temple, a very large one, the Taipings 
had greatly damaged. However, one thousand gods in 
stone still remain. The furious uprising of the Taip- 
ings left destruction in its pathway. I shall remember 
when this rebellion took place as the dates correspond to 
those of our Civil War. The Taiping Rebellion broke 
out in i860. In 1863 Major Gordon began to repulse 
the Taipings, and their downfall was complete. The 
rivers of blood must have equalled those of the present 
Russo-Japanese War. Much of the hill of temples has 
been rebuilt, but the sacrificed lives and the historical 
treasures cannot be replaced. While modern activity 
has brought back much of the industry, the historic 
landmarks have disappeared forever. 

Hang Chow is a beautiful city. I have seen nothing 
like it in all China. With pleasant memories of our visit, 
and accompanied by a number of our new-found friends, 
we left the city for our house-boat six miles distant. 

Soo Chow, November 20. We arrived at Soo Chow 
at ten o'clock. A medical missionary kindly met us and 
arranged for us a programme for the day, saying, "As it 
is Sunday, the day is full of special work." Monday 



SHEWS GARDENS, SOO CHOW 325 

morning he promised to call and take us to see the sights 
of this old, old city. We have spent the day as planned, 
and enjoyed it, but would rather have been on shore in 
the missions, as we had desired to spend Sunday with 
the missionaries and their work. 

November 21. Our friend of yesterday most kindly 
came for us at half-past eight o'clock and we were off 
to see the sights. We entered "Shew's Gardens" first. 
(Mr. Shew had visited at our Legation home and dined 
with us.) These gardens are extensive and truly won- 
derful. They speak loudly of time, wealth, culture, and 
love for the beautiful. Every part of these gardens stands 
for some sentiment, and has both a thought and a money 
value. There are lakes, grottoes, running brooks, trees, 
shrubs, plants of choice varieties, artistic summer-houses, 
rich fruits, and fine buildings; there is a large sunken 
theatre with terraced seats; a library, rest-rooms with 
richly inlaid and deeply carved Chinese furnishings; 
there are pavilions, parks for deer and different animals; 
lakes for fish, ducks, and swans; and a corral for storks 
and brilliantly plumaged birds. Yes, and much else that 
beauty's love had brought together. Everything shows 
great care. It is a beautiful, beautiful spot! 

From the gardens we went to the best and oldest 
temples, visited the shops and industries, and saw many 
decorations in honor of Her Majesty's birthday. The 
colors were principally red and yellow. The streets of 
Soo Chow are narrow and much like those of Canton. 
Soo Chow has the largest pagoda in the world, the Pahz 
Ztah, which is nine stories high, 100 feet in diameter at 
the bottom, and 33 feet at the top. We climbed five 
stories, and from that point the view was superb. The 



326 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

pagoda furnishings were more elaborate than any we 
had seen before. 

Our new friend-escort took us to his pleasant home 
full of his choice collections, and here we received a 
warm welcome from his charming wife. She, too, is a 
practising physician. We were taken through the new 
college buildings, which are worthy of much more men- 
tion than a diary letter can give. There is more English 
taught in the South of China than in the North. Even 
the Chinese sometimes teach English. We saw only a little 
of their mission work apart from their college and schools, 
as Dr. F. was in Shanghai on Saturday and was there 
erroneously informed that we were not interested in mis- 
sion work. Only think how these friendly strangers 
unselfishly worked to entertain us with other things! 
When they learned the truth about our interests, their 
disappointment was as great as ours, as there was much 
to show us of their mission field. No one could have 
done more for our pleasure than did these dear people. 

November 22. We arrived in Shanghai about five 
o'clock in the morning, and we start up the great Yangtze 
to-morrow. 

November 24.. Thanksgiving Day! Thoughts turn 
homeward to my own native land and our darling chil- 
dren, but more devotedly, if possible, my earnest love- 
thoughts turn toward Peking. How is your father 
getting along? Well, of course, for he is always equal 
to whatever comes upon him. With intense gratitude 
I think of him in this delightful trip, which he has so 
perfectly planned for us. There are many friends with 
him to-day. We telegraphed our greetings. The trip 
up the broad Yangtze has been delightful. There have 



THE SILK INDUSTRIES 3*7 

been few hills in view; the country is mostly flat. There 
is much shipping done upon this river, and the cargoes 
are heavy. 

Nanking, November 26. We were hospitably enter- 
tained by Dr. and Mrs. Stewart in their dear home. 
With an increasing interest, vitalized by better knowl- 
edge of them, I am visiting the missions. Their many 
lines of work make their influence far-reaching. Nan- 
king is China's former capital, and one of the most 
thrifty cities on the Yangtze. 

We visited the silk industries and watched the pro- 
cesses from the cocoon to the finest of fabrics. This 
work is all done by hand and hand machinery, and in 
the crudest manner. Strange workers do most exquis- 
ite work in strange ways. This morning we visited the 
boys' school of three hundred students; this afternoon 
we visited the girls' school and heard them sing in Eng- 
lish. The Home Board sends a professional musician to 
teach music in their missions in the cities along the 
Yangtze and her work is surely a great success. 

We visited the places where the Imperial silk- weaving 
is done. This work is carried on in small, dirty places, 
and with hand looms. Many children were playing 
around these workers as they made rich, dainty, beauti- 
ful fabrics. There were four looms in each factory. 
The pattern man sat above and in front of the shuttle 
man. The style, texture, and accuracy of the whole 
work was wonderful. How could they do such beauti- 
ful work in those surroundings! I wanted to buy some 
of those silks and satins we saw them making, but 
Imperial goods are not for sale. 

The Examination Halls in Nanking accommodate 



328 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

thirty thousand students. The general style of division 
into stalls is like that of the Examination Halls in Peking, 
but the honors granted here are not so high. 

November 27. I received a cablegram from the 
Thanksgiving people at the American Legation, Peking, 
saying, " Eighty Americans send thanks and loving greet- 
ings. " 

We attend many religious services during the day. 
Although the girls and boys do not intermingle, they are 
taught music so perfectly that when they come to church 
they carry their allotted parts in harmony. They sang 
anthems in English, and carried the four parts with 
assurance. This was foreign in every way to China; 
it was foreign music, foreign words, a foreign instructor, 
and in a foreign church; but Chinese girls and boys were 
here uniting their voices in praises to the good Father 
of all. 

[To Our Daughter] 

Nanking, December 6 y iqoj.. 

November 28. We visited the Ming Tombs a few 
miles out from Nanking, and while these tombs conveyed 
to us a suggestion of the past glory of the Mings, the 
ravages of time and the Taiping Rebellion have obliterated 
the brilliancy of that glory. These tombs compare in no 
way with those which you have seen near Peking; still it 
was easy to detect that kindred thoughts constructed the 
two. Inferior buildings have been placed upon the 
stable foundations of these tomb-buildings, which were 
swept away long ago. 

What the Taipings destroyed at these Tombs in and 
about Nanking can never be replaced. The Porcelain 



THE CHINESE MINT 3*9 

Tower, one of the wonders of the world, was destroyed, 
and many other of China's best productions met the 
same fate. The madness of revolt does destroy. 

The city wall at Nanking is higher and thicker than the 
Peking wall and is quite well preserved. The old capital 
buildings have disappeared save one, and so have the 
walls protecting them. The signs of personal glory have 
passed from this place — time has buried them from 
sight and almost from mind. 

We visited the Temple of Confucius. Our interest in 
temples to him increases as we learn more of this leader's 
noble life and influence. 

November 2Q. The American Consul arranged for us 
a visit to the Chinese mint. We drove to the Foreign 
Office, where we were requested to leave our carriage and 
take official chairs. We were taken in these chairs to a 
waiting-room where the highest official received us, and we 
were served tea. After a few minutes of complimentary 
talk we were escorted to our chairs accompanied by two 
representatives and an escort. When we left the Foreign 
Office, ahead of us were four soldiers and a uniformed 
man bearing upon a high standard a large red embroidered 
umbrella; following us were two officers in official chairs. 
When we arrived at the mint, we were met by other of- 
ficials, escorted into a reception room, and again tea was 
served. The director-general was there, and all were 
dressed in beautiful official robes. In most respectful 
manner we were shown through the mint, and much was 
explained to us. In fact every courtesy was shown us, 
and the trip was made one of unusual interest. The 
American Consul was most thoughtful of our pleasure 
while in Nanking. 



33o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

November 30. The Foreign Office interpreter called 
early to present His Excellency the Viceroy's compliments 
and to ask if we could receive him at eleven o'clock. 

Mr. and Mrs. M. took us to the Temple of the Great 
Bell. The story runs that there were three large bells 
cast at the same time. The largest is in Peking; the next 
largest in Nanking; I am told that the third is somewhere 
in the interior. This Nanking bell was taken from a hill 
near the city, where the work of the centuries had almost 
buried it, and placed in a special tower of a temple. In an 
upper story of the tower are images of three maiden sisters; 
these images represent the maidens who threw themselves 
into the melted bronze to make the bell perfect when 
moulded. They sit facing the south, and are dressed in 
real clothes and ornaments, and have real hair. Such im- 
ages as these I never saw before in Chinese temples. The 
long story about these bells and the maidens is a most 
interesting one. Sometime I must tell it to you. 

The representative of His Excellency the Viceroy 
brought to me rich, costly gifts. This Viceroy is one of 
your father's warm friends. The highest official at the 
Foreign Office sent me many rolls of choice tea in small 
cases. Each of these cases was covered with embroidered 
silk and rolled in artistic Chinese style. The many kind- 
nesses extended to us by the Chinese, the British, our 
Consul, and our missionaries make the heart grow bigger 
and the would-be helping hand reach farther. Your 
father has been over all this part of China, has left love 
and respect in his wake, and blessings flow to us as we 
follow. 

Kiukiang, December 1. Missionary ladies met us 
here and took us to their home, where we were tenderly 



MISSIONARY WORKERS 331 

cared for during our stay in the city. With great benefit 
and pleasure to ourselves we visited every part of this 
large mission, other missions, Young Men's Christian 
Association, and charitable institutions. 

The Imperial porcelain is all made in the interior 
some distance from Kiukiang. I wished to purchase 
some, as it is not to be found in Peking, but the pieces in 
the shops here are rejected ones, — those having slight 
blemishes. What I knew to be good and what I wanted, 
was difficult to find. As we visit city after city I recog- 
nize the fact that each one has its special productions. 
As I travel, I shall strive to obtain a specimen of each. 

This mission compound where we are entertained is 
most beautifully situated; the views are grand, and the 
grounds and buildings are arranged with artistic skill. 
Bamboo groves, palm avenues, terraces, flowers, camphor 
trees, ivy-grown walls, all make a picture of marvellous 
beauty. The work of this mission includes many de- 
partments, from the foundlings' home to the college, and 
with keen interest we visited each department. We next 
visited the Roman Catholic mission. Wherever we go, we 
find their work thoroughly and systematically organized. 
They work together as one body. 

We called on Miss H. and three Chinese ladies, Dr. 
Stone, her sister, and Dr. Kahn, who were educated at 
Ann Arbor, Michigan. These three Chinese girls are 
giving their lives in maidenhood to their country, and are 
highly respected and beloved by their own people. They 
do not offend their higher-class people by making inroads 
upon their customs. They work in harmony with these 
people and thus gain access to their homes and their 
hearts. 



332 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

On this trip I am learning many things; new ideas 
assert themselves, and old ideas are yielding. Even to 
guess what people are doing, one must mingle a time with 
them. 

December 5. We are off again up the Yangtze, a 
river still wonderful in its grand immensity. 



[To Our Daughter Laura] 

Han Kow, December 15, 1904.. 

HAN KOW, as you will remember, is at the head of 
navigation on the Yangtze. We arrived here the seventh 
and were met by the American Consul General who drove 
us at once to the Consulate, where his wife, daughter, 
son-in-law, and their dear boys gave us a warm welcome. 

The first day we were here the compliments of the 
Viceroy were brought by his secretary. Our days have 
been filled full, and the Consul and his family have added 
life to them. We visited the Native City to see the in- 
dustries. The velvet weaving; the making, coloring, and 
polishing of their blue cotton goods; the weaving of lace, 
ribbon, belts, and other articles; the making of fire- 
crackers and fireworks in their intricate designs — all 
were most instructive. The whole of this wonderful 
work is done by hand and crude machinery. There is 
only human labor in the Native City. 

The Italian convent here is a vast affair. We were 
taken through buildings, courts, and storerooms, where 
we saw great bins of rice, millet, and other grains. They 
have flour mills and in fact everything on the premises 
of this convent to keep and support their girls. We saw 
the girls and women at work in the most systematic 



MISSIONS AND SCHOOLS 333 

manner. The very little ones, the blind, the one-armed, 
the aged, in fact all, worked in the many branches of labor, 
and all looked contented, happy. They sell quantities 
of choice laces and other productions. This convent 
presented to me another pronounced phase of religious 
education which holds its distinct tone in my new choir 
of praise to God. 

We crossed the river in the Viceroy's launch with an 
escort kindly sent by him. His secretary met us with 
carriages, and we were taken to the pagoda upon a high 
bluff where we could get a fine view of this beautiful, 
fertile country. From this pagoda we were driven to the 
Chinese kindergarten, which was established by a wealthy 
Chinese. While the school is called a kindergarten, there 
is much beyond this instruction in these extensive, well- 
equipped grounds and buildings. We next drove to the 
Viceroy's drill grounds. He has picked soldiers in his 
guard and their drill for us was as fine as I ever witnessed. 
Their athletic sports were superb. 

By means of a launch across the river and chairs at 
the landing we were escorted to the mission and school at 
Wu Ch'ang, where everything seemed to be teeming with 
life and strength well spent. While we were in the chapel 
we were told the reading of the local bill presented for 
their beautiful new eagle lectern. The item was as fol- 
lows, " Forty dollars for one Holy Rooster." 

We next visited the extensive tea " factory," where we 
were shown the many processes of preparing tea for both 
home and foreign trade. The tea-testing was most inter- 
esting. 

We were invited to four o'clock tea at the Episcopal 
mission, where we were received and shown something 



334 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

of their work. While we were in their beautiful large 
church, a choir of twenty Chinese boys marched in dressed 
in white surplices and chanting as they came. They sang 
with clear sweet voices several pieces of church music, 
and then " God Save Our Emperor" to the tune of " Amer- 
ica.' ' I was glad to see these small boys learning to 
be patriotic. As they passed out of the church I shook 
hands with each of them and thanked them for sweet 
music-giving. 

Steamer, December 14.. All too soon the time came for 
us to say our good-byes and depart from the beautiful, 
thrifty city of Han Kow, where our visit was surely a 
happy one. 

What a wonderful river! At times it looks like a vast 
lake ; then towering banks call it back to its river confines. 



[To Our Daughter Laura] 

Chinkiang and Shanghai, 
December 25, IQ04.. 

WHEN in this city during the celebration of Her Maj- 
esty's seventieth birthday, I saw the Chinese Imperial flag 
flying in front of the Chinese shops in the foreign con- 
cessions. I was so delighted to see this patriotism mani- 
fested by the Chinese that I really wished one of the flags 
to take back to Peking, and I tried to purchase one, but 
could not. Here on the morning of this Christmas day I 
saw stretched out before me one of these flags with your 
father's writing pinned to it. 

I must retrace my steps and tell you of our visit to 
Chinkiang on the Yangtze. Miss Robinson met us with 
chairs, and through the city and over the hills we went to 



MISSION SCHOOL FOR GIRLS 335 

the mission, where a warm, bright home greeted us. Here 
we visited Miss Robinson's school for girls. These girls 
received us in the chapel of their school building. As we 
entered they all arose and, in English, sang most sweetly 
a welcome song. They had draped the American flag 
above our chairs in honor of our coming, and above it 
their own Dragon flag. These girls had made their own 
programme. They sang many songs and hymns together, 
carrying the different parts in confident sweetness. We 
were introduced to one another, and were friends. Both 
the spirit and the method of Miss Robinson's tender, lov- 
ing, guiding care have been imbibed by the girls, and they 
live her teachings. They took us to the kindergarten room 
where the little tots did wonderfully well in their work 
and play. The music was played by a Chinese girl, and 
their teacher was one of their number. This teacher was 
once a helpless babe found upon Miss Robinson's door- 
step. With devoted care she has grown into a trustworthy 
and competent co-worker for her people. There was no 
false pride nor timidity manifested by these girls. Love's 
watchful care had taught them to be at their best, to be 
natural. This large family of girls is self-governed 
through their teacher's high conception of love to God and 
good will toward men. We mingled with these girls and 
learned to know them. They are being taught Eng- 
lish, and when I talked to them, assembled, they under- 
stood me. In the morning we attended church services 
conducted by a Chinese pastor; in the evening foreign 
services in the city. The moon was up when we returned 
to the mission heights; and it was a weird experience 
as we went in and out of those strange streets filled with 
strange people, and climbed and descended the hills 



336 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

through deserted footpaths. How like a dream it all 
seemed! Our chair-bearers were faithful and took us 
safe to our warm, cheerful fireside. 

Monday, Dr. Hoag took us in chairs to the Chinese 
boys' school established by a wealthy Chinese on an 
island. It is conducted by Chinese in the style of the 
West, but with the Chinese classics. The buildings are 
new and fine. The gardens are beautiful, and there are 
extensive greenhouses filled with choice and rare flowers, 
plants, and shrubs. We were invited to the campus with 
its heavy greensward, where seats awaited us. After the 
boys marched upon the grounds in their fresh, becoming 
uniforms, the officers came and saluted us. Their drill 
was commendable. When finished, the officers saluted 
us again, and we were then taken to rest-rooms and served 
with tea and refreshments. 

Dr. Hoag adopted a small Chinese girl and educated 
her. She married a foreign-educated Chinese who is 
now a professor in this school. He received us, showed 
us through grounds, class-rooms, library, museum, ath- 
letic rooms — in fact the whole school, and explained 
its workings. This professor was assisted by another 
English-speaking, educated Chinese. What will be the 
future of China when these hundreds and hundreds of 
educated young people go out from these schools as a 
leaven into its vast population? They are patient, 
industrious, ambitious, quick to perceive, and with 
accuracy they utilize what they learn. This Chinese 
school is a marvel to me. 

These two Chinese professors took us to a large old 
temple with a very high pagoda. After being shown 
through many courts, buildings, and rooms of gods; 



RICH TEMPLE TREASURES 337 

after climbing and descending the many stairs of the 
pagoda, and being served with tea, we were permitted to 
see and handle temple treasures and jewels. In all our 
visits to temples we had not known that such things ex- 
isted. The treasures of this temple were centuries old, 
and priceless. Age had not ruined them. The bone of 
this day is rich with marrow. 

We visited the hospital, where the mission doctors are 
giving their lives to allay the sufferings of the poor un- 
fortunates. Their hospital is small, and they work 
under great disadvantages. 

The hour came for parting with our dear friends upon 
the hill. We assembled in the large room to say our 
good-byes. The girls sang " God be with you till we meet 
again." There is a reserved force in the Chinese char- 
acter that does not flood you, but gives you time to think. 
They brought me a book of many photographs, arranged 
by themselves, and a heart-letter in both English and 
Chinese. It was a great surprise and brought joy. These 
photographs illustrating their school- work were taken for 
the Exposition in St. Louis. As we left for our steamer 
the girls came out in a body and we waved our good-byes 
to all. Dr. Hoag went to the steamer with us. She has 
a rounded character and puts heart into her work. We 
arrived at Shanghai December twenty-first and had a 
feast in our mail. We cabled to your father and received 
an answer in six hours. 

To-day a friend drove us in his machine to St. John's 
College, which is several miles out of the city. One of the 
professors showed us through the beautiful grounds, and 
fine, well-equipped buildings. Chinese classics are taught 
in this school; and the foreign education that is given 



33* LETTERS FROM CHINA 

equals that of the standard college. English is taught 
to advanced students. Many of the well-to-do Chinese 
merchants' boys attend this school, and are promising 
young men. The boys are very bright, and the pro- 
fessors uttered many laudatory words for them and their 
work. 

We next visited the College Orphanage of sixty little 
children. It was a sad yet gratifying sight to see these 
little children tenderly cared for on the grounds of this 
large institution. The library, manual-training, gym- 
nasium, and scientific departments are well equipped, and 
the buildings are large and modern. The grounds are 
beautiful and have well-kept drives and walks. The 
thought in the foreign educational work in China seems 
to be to raise the college and university curriculum to the 
usual college standard, and little by little they are succeed- 
ing. In this higher education the Protestants take the 
lead. It is worth while for every interested person visiting 
China to go to these institutions of learning and see what 
wonderful work is being done. 

[To Daughter Laura] 

Steamship, January 6, IQ05. 
WE are still far from our Legation home, but moving 
toward Hong Kong where your father is to meet us. We 
arrived at Foochow, December thirty-first, and were 
met by Dr. Gracey, American Consul General, who took 
us to his pleasant Consulate home where we were wel- 
comed by Mrs. Gracey. Much was done to inform us 
of the city and its people during our stay. Entirely new 
features of Chinese life are here revealed. By visiting 



INTERESTING FOOCHOW 339 

one or two cities or parts of China we do not see the Em- 
pire as a whole. Each city is remarkably its very own. 
There are no carts or beasts of burden in Foochow; 
men, women, and children do all sorts of work. Women 
work in the streets and carry heavy burdens, but this is 
their legitimate business. They are not bold, but are 
quiet in their demeanor. A new civilization in China 
meets me here at every turn. It seems like a dream, as 
we go on and on through these streets. Vegetation is 
semi-tropical. The hills, city, valley, and rivers are 
alive with industries, and form a rare picture. Women 
do much work on the water. Their sampans (boats) 
are clean, and so are they. Their hair is well combed 
and decorated with flowers and silver ornaments. Their 
children are clean, and they lend helping hands. 

We visited the missions and found them alive with 
activity in their many lines of work. The Chinese are 
reaching out for foreign ideas as never before. While 
in this attitude of thought, these ideas should be given to 
them abundantly. 

We heard on January third that Port Arthur had been 
captured by the Japanese. Can it be true ? 

Mr. and Mrs. Drew of the Imperial Customs gave a 
picnic party of eight to Kuling. We went in a house- 
boat to the foot of these high mountains, and took with 
us chairs and coolies. The road up the mountain was of 
stone, with stone slab steps — up — up — up. The view 
was beyond description, and became grander and still 
grander as we ascended. We were in the virgin forest 
of this large temple. Here the trees have been permitted 
to grow unmolested through the ages. We could look 
down from the great heights upon the water below, upon 



340 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

the finely cultivated fields of rice and other grains, and 
on to the mountains in the distance. What a broad, 
beautiful expanse came within the range of our vision! 
After climbing this road for more than an hour we 
reached the old temple compounds with their many 
temple buildings. Here we had our dainty tiffin furn- 
ished by Mrs. Drew. The view each way was superbly 
grand. In the deep-cut ravines there were altar build- 
ings, erected in almost impossible places, with winding 
walks, bridges, and stone steps leading to them. As we 
went in and out, it seemed so unnatural that we called 
it dreamland. Upon this mountain was a large fish 
lake fed by living springs. We saw priests everywhere. 

We returned to our house-boat, and were soon off 
for the city after a day full of great pleasure, given us 
by dear friends who know how to entertain happily. 
On our way home through the streets we saw many 
elaborate decorations made by Japanese. The Japanese 
Consulate was agkw with all sorts of colored lanterns, 
streamers, ships, and other decorations. 

It is true; Port Arthur has fallen into the hands of 
the Japanese. After dinner these wildly elated people 
came to the American Consulate in a body, with lighted 
lanterns and other demonstrations. Their rejoicings 
were full of the greatest glee. What will the Baltic 
Fleet do next ? Will it turn back ? What will Russia do 
on land or on sea? Let us hope that this awful blood- 
shed will now end; its horrors are unwritten, and never 
can be known in history. 

We visited missions on the other side of the river. 
Their work is wonderful, extending into many avenues. 
Dr. Hartwell, of the American Board Mission, came 



ROCK HILLS MISSION, SWATOW 341 

laughingly to me with a large book in his hand and said, 
"I have found your name in this Hartwell book; you are 
one of our family." 

The boys of the officials and wealthy merchants are 
coming into these mission schools and are doing good 
work. The thought of an inferior people passes into 
nothingness when we are with these Chinese boys and 
girls and see their pronounced ability in accurately ac- 
complishing their undertakings. All along this won- 
derful trip I am gratefully happy in my schooling. It 
almost seems as though I were taking a course in a 
Heart and Mind University, and it has been my earnest 
prayer that I might learn lessons of value. Dr. and 
Mrs. Gracey are delightful people and dear friends. 
In sincere gratitude we shall remember them for all they 
have so bountifully done for our pleasure. 

We left Foochow yesterday, and the quietness of our 
steamer has enabled Miss Campbell and I to recall 
many of the events of our stay in this great, novel city 
in South China. 



[To a Nephew] 

Swatow to Manila, 
January 9, 1905. 
WE had a most delightful trip in South China, and then 
continued our journey down the southern coast, stopping 
for a day at Swatow, where we visited the wide-awake 
mission on the Rock Hills. We purchased much of the 
beautiful drawn-work done by the Chinese in this mis- 
sion. These purchases helped the mission and accom- 
modated us. No happier day have we spent anywhere 



342 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

than with these people upon the rocky bluffs. Their 
work of love tells of sacrifices and devotion. 

We saw much of the old city of Amoy, of the for- 
eigners, and of their beautiful concessions; but as we 
saw nothing of the Chinese, I will not write you of our 
visit. 

At Hong Kong I received a cablegram that Mr. 
Conger is on his way to join us. We left for Canton at 
once for a short stay in that wonderful, old, old city, of 
which I have written you before. Mr. Conger joined 
us in Hong Kong, and we were off for the Philippines 
without delay. Before leaving Peking he sent his resigna- 
tion to the President to take effect after the inauguration in 
March. He feels that he has spent enough time in China 
and in public service. We are going home to make for 
ourselves a fireside all our own, gather together our be- 
longings, and enjoy them. 

[To Our Daughter] 

Steamer, March 14., 1905. 

OUR month's stay in the Philippines was most delight- 
ful and instructive. Governor General and Mrs. Wright's 
hospitality and courtesy added a living glow to our entire 
visit. We wished to learn about the islands, the natives, 
their productions, their civilization, and the effect of our 
Government upon them. No effort seemed too great 
on the part of our Government officials and our friends 
to enable us to have these privileges. 

The Americans in the Philippines are raising the 
standard of the natives and bringing to light through culti- 
vation wealth until now hidden in the soil of these islands. 



JAPANESE NAVAL STATION 343 

They are doing a wonderful work, looking to both beauty 
and utility. In fact everywhere we went in those islands 
we perceived the workings or the touch of the American's 
superior thought. 

We arrived in Nagasaki, February twenty-first, and 
started early over the beautiful hill roads for Mogi. 
The twenty-fourth, by invitation, we went to Sasebo, a 
Japanese naval station out from Nagasaki about sixty 
miles. The American Consul's interpreter accompanied 
us. Officers met us at the station before we arrived at 
Sasebo and escorted us to the Admiral, who had cor- 
dially invited us to visit his naval station. No foreign- 
ers are admitted on these grounds except by permit, and 
then all such visitors are politely escorted everywhere, but 
are not made to feel that they are guarded. We were 
shown all through the hospital wards — shown the awful 
scars and healing wounds. There were forty Red Cross 
Japanese women nurses all dressed in white, foreign- 
cut clothes. They stood in line and bowed low as we 
passed; the wounded men who were able sat up in their 
beds. Most of these men were horribly mangled and 
mutilated. The army experienced greater losses and had 
greater numbers wounded than the navy. This war is 
appalling. The great sacrifice of life is beyond the 
counting, and the suffering beyond measure. Japan 
stands united as one man; such loyal patriotism is not 
surpassed. Each man's name is upon the roll, and each 
bravely and proudly goes to the front when his coun- 
try calls. This Russo-Japanese War is one of extreme 
slaughter. We are almost near enough to see the 
flowing rivers of blood. 

We were taken to the Japanese Admiral's home. 



344 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Here we removed our shoes before entering. Every- 
thing, everywhere, was polished. We sat with host and 
hostess upon beautiful, silk-embroidered cushions placed 
upon the floor. Shortly the Admiral offered his arm to 
me and we took the lead to the dining-room. After 
dinner we were escorted through the grounds. 

Many parts are already garden spots. Japan is striving 
to make the entire station a thing of beauty. We were 
shown the prize ships loaded with supplies for Port 
Arthur. These ships were captured by Japan and 
brought into her waters. There were many of these 
ships, and some were of great value. It is amusing to 
hear the intelligent Japanese invariably answer your 
questions with, "I do not know." Of course, they cannot 
give information that they do not know, and that settles 
it. With great interest we visited many parts of the 
interior and detected that through the new strivings to 
make Western ideas her own, old Japan is being modified 
into a new Japan. In the interior we saw more of her 
individuality. 

While in the midst of quiet joys spending our vaca- 
tion in freedom, and resting from official responsibili- 
ties, your father received a cablegram from President 
Roosevelt transferring him from the Legation in China 
to the Embassy in Mexico. Naturally we receive this 
great compliment and promotion with gratitude. It 
was recognition of work well done in China under 
most trying circumstances. Through all your fathers 
perplexing official duties he has received no word of 
criticism from his Government, but many words of 
appreciation and encouragement; and this promotion 
is a crown to his political life. 



GERMAN PORT OF TSINTAN 345 

We started for Peking at once, for much was to be 
done officially, socially, and domestically before our de- 
parture from China. A telegram was received from the 
Viceroy at Nanking, a friend of your father's, to return to 
Peking by way of the Yangtze and interior China, but 
the shortness of our time prevented the acceptance of this 
cordial invitation with its wonderful opportunities. This 
was followed by another invitation to take this route upon 
leaving Peking, and this was accepted. Much was done 
for us at Shanghai, but I will not write of our stop there, 
as you must hear of our visit to Tsintan, a German port 
new to us. 

March jj. Monday we anchored at the splendid 
wharf which the Germans have built at this most desir- 
able new port of Tsintan. We arrived early in the morn- 
ing, and had a delightful day driving all through the town 
and over many fine German roads which lead into the 
country. These drives were a revelation. There are 
fine foreign residences here, and large stores well filled 
with all sorts of foreign goods; there are commodious 
barracks, huge breweries, massive forts, and excellent 
streets. The Germans have spent millions of money and 
evidently intend to stay. They have built about three 
hundred miles of good railroad into the interior. 

In 1898 the Chinese gave a lease of ninety-nine years 
on this part of Shantung as pay for the lives of two Ger- 
man priests who were killed in a mob. This Province is 
rich and fertile. It makes a fine port for the Germans, 
and they are making the most of it in a substantial way. 
They have a large army here, and their fortifications are 
already good, but they are building other forts. Many 
thousands of Chinese are at work upon these grounds to 



346 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

beautify them and make them useful and strong in time 
of need. After a drive of three hours we went to Hotel 
Tsintan. Your father called upon the German Governor, 
who was ill, and then joined us. After tiffin we again 
drove for two hours. We visited the Russian warship, 
Czarevitch, one of the warships that escaped from Port 
Arthur and fled for safety to this German port. There 
are five Russian torpedo boats tied up here. When we 
drove down the large, well-made German dock to these 
ships and approached the large warship Czarevitch, 
about which we had heard and read so much, we began 
to realize as never before what battles upon the waters 
must mean. Your father presented his card to the com- 
manding officer, made known his desire to visit the 
ship, and permission was granted. Two handsome, 
well-uniformed young officers took us through their 
large dilapidated ship. Marks of explosive ammunition 
were seen on every side, and portions of the ship were 
entirely gone. We saw the spot where the Admiral fell; 
no part of his body was found but his legs. The guns 
were not harmed. As we departed, thanking these gentle- 
manly officers for their kindness, we stood upon the dock 
and looked upon that huge monster with her great guns 
pointing outward, and wondered why she ran from the 
enemy. Why did she not fight to the bitter end ? Surely 
she could have crippled the enemy and made it easier for 
the Baltic Fleet to advance. But of course, the Admiral 
must have known what was best for him to do. It is 
easy for us to look backward and ask, "Why?" We 
bade good-bye to this historic Russian battleship, now 
a prisoner of war for which Germany is responsible. 

We have seen men from Port Arthur, and the accounts 



JAPANESE AT WAR 347 

are terrible. To-day we hear of great victories for the 
Japanese. The little " Japs' ' came out ahead as usual; 
the Japanese know not how to retreat or give up. They 
would go ahead as long as there were men to go. They 
are fighting for the existence of their country, and will 
not falter. 

On a smooth sea we left Tsintan on the fourteenth. 
We are now nearing Tientsin, and I must close. 



[To Our Daughter] 

Steamship Siberia, 
April 77, i go 5. 

WE have left terra firma and are now on God's domain 
alike for all. The blue sky arches above us, reaches 
down, and so gently touches this broad expanse that we 
cannot tell where they meet. I look down, and it is oh, 
so deep ! This height, breadth, and depth are wonderful. 
We cannot hear what it says to us, we just have to feel 
it and know it. We have really left China, but we have 
not taken away with us all our interests, appreciation, and 
affections. The Orient opened a wonderful book to us, 
and left many pages in our keeping. These pages are not 
lost to her, for such giving does not impoverish. 

I will now turn to my diary and give you the detailed 
events of our last days in China. 

March 17. We arrived in Peking to-day from our 
delightful trip to South China, our own Philippines, and 
Japan. How we do rejoice over reaching home! The 
Legation staff, all the Legation people, army officers, 
guards, and friends welcomed us at the station. Our 
servants and our little dogs seemed delighted to see us as 



34 8 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

we entered the Legation compound. Our home never 
seemed so lovely. The second boy at the head of the 
other servants (Wang was with us) has put everything in 
order. Plants and beautiful flowers are everywhere. 
I am delighted. Dinner was ready for us as though we 
had been here all the time. Our stay in Peking is short 
and the spending of each day, almost of each hour, was 
planned before we reached home. To-night we have 
sent invitations to all the Legation and American army 
people to dine with us to-morrow night. 

March 18. We have sent out invitations for many 
entertainments. We cannot go to all our friends, there- 
fore we ask them to come to us, as we must see them 
again. To-day we made our official calls, and with Mrs. 
Headland's efficient help, we arranged dates for enter- 
taining our Chinese friends. 

March ig. We entertained at dinner the Customs 
people and others. 

March 20. Gave a reception to missionaries and 
other Americans. Sixty-six were present. 

March 21. Twelve o'clock tiffin, at which I enter- 
tained twenty Chinese ladies and my four helpers (ladies 
from the missions). Dinner to Diplomats; twenty at 
table. 

March 22. Entertained twenty-two at tiffin — 
Manchu Princesses, ladies from official families, and my 
helpers. 

March 23. Manchu ladies at twelve o'clock tiffin. 
My afternoon "at home." Many callers. 

March 24.. Mr. Conger's twelve o'clock tiffin for high 
Chinese officials; sixteen at table. At three o'clock 
tiffin I entertained sixteen Manchu ladies. 



FAREWELL ENTERTAINMENTS 349 

March 25. Tiffin for Princesses and my helpers; 
twenty at table. 

This date is the last of our entertaining at our Legation 
home where we have had so very many happy experi- 
ences. The golden words of friendship, and the beautiful 
expressions of affection are woven into our thoughts as 
living things. These busy days have not been weary ones. 

The visits of my Chinese friends this week could not 
have been so full of success had it not been for Mrs. 
Headland. She faithfully worked to choose the right 
ones in the right companies, omitting none. To the many 
other missionary helpers in my companies I am greatly 
indebted. Miss Campbell's help has been invaluable. 
She has been a veritable sister and co-worker through all. 
The servants did their very best, never faltering. We 
all worked together harmoniously, hence, with success. 
All that I had to say to Wang about the floral decorations 
was to tell him the color of flowers I wished — red, yellow, 
white, or pink — for the various tiffins and dinners, 
and this color it would be without another suggestion, 
and all beautifully arranged. Now T our work begins 
in earnest. We have already dismantled our drawing- 
room since our guests departed. This afternoon boys 
and coolies began at once. To-night we attend dinner 
at the French Minister's. We are obliged repeatedly to 
send our regrets for invitations to dinners, tiffins, and 
other entertainments. We have accepted only a few for 
the coming week. 

March 27. I called upon the Dowager Princess K'e, 
who is ill. My visit to this friend's home was a sad one. 
We had met many times, and this last visit was precious 
to both of us. Before I left, she placed upon my fingers 



3So LETTERS FROM CHINA 

two exquisite rings. From here we called upon the Prin- 
cesses in the beautiful home of Prince Ch'ing; yes, 
beautiful in magnitude, rich in furnishings, and lavish in 
floral decorations. These Princesses were exceedingly 
cordial, and made the visit a memorable one. We then 
called at Prince Pu Lun's palace. His Excellency Wang 
Kai Kai, who was educated in America, was present and 
assisted the Prince in conversation. He speaks English 
fluently. This is a charming place to visit in its quiet 
dignity and hospitality. From this delightful Chinese 
home we visited the residence of His Excellency Na T'ung. 
His home is new and is furnished with Chinese elegance. 
It contains treasures which great wealth and culture alone 
can accumulate. 

In the evening the American missionaries held a recep- 
tion for us at Dr. Lowry's. Dr. Lowry and Dr. Wherry 
made remarks that lodged deep in our hearts. The 
strong ties of friendship can never be severed. These 
dear friends presented us with a beautiful silk rug — a 
most precious gift. Your father responded in his most 
appreciative way. As an expression of their love for Miss 
Campbell they gave her a handsome cloisonne bowl, 
which she gratefully acknowledged. Our hearts were 
very full, and we parted as we had lived, in true friend- 
ship. 

We accepted two more dinner invitations, one at the 
British Legation and the other at the German. Most 
gracious words were uttered in our honor. Your father 
surely has won the respect and affection of all who have 
been his co-workers in China as well as those for whom 
he has worked. Nothing could be more gratifying to 
your mother than this recognition of your father's faith- 



THE CHINESE LADIES 351 

fill, intricate, successful work. The French, British, and 
German Ministers spoke in commendatory terms of my 
social efforts with the Chinese ladies, including Her Maj- 
esty, the Princesses, and the families of Chinese officials. 
This I regard as a significant recognition, expressed as it 
was before their colleagues and to them. My life is 
surely richer for having known the Empress Dowager, 
the Empress, the Princesses, and the Chinese ladies. We 
are all friends. When His Imperial Majesty, the Emperor 
of China, presents his hand it seems cordially done. 
The brightness of his eye, and the smile upon his face 
tell of a welcome that his lips do not utter. I know 
little of the princes and gentlemen of China, aside from 
the fact that they are cordial and respectful. My great 
desire has been to know their wives and daughters, and 
with courteous recognition of this desire, the husbands 
and fathers have granted me this privilege. 

It seems that the heavens have given us their beautiful 
smiles to light our every step as we are rounding up our 
days in China. May the dear Father guide our steps in 
the new field in Mexico., 

My friends among the Chinese ladies asked Mrs. 
Headland what they could give me that would be most 
acceptable. Without hesitation she replied, "Your 
photographs." Among my most highly prized treasures 
is this collection of photographs. Each lady and child 
whom I knew sent me their pictures. With happy rec- 
ollections I shall many times through the years to come 
look at these pictures, recall and hear again the words of 
these ladies, feel the gentle hand touch, and read their 
thoughts through their lighted faces. Nothing could 
have been more acceptable than these photographs, even 



352 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

though they are all in black and white and void of the 
rich Chinese coloring. 

April i. What can I say of this wonderful day! 
Arrangements had been made for your father to have his 
last audience with Their Majesties on this date, and for 
my audience to follow his. Your father took his staff of 
four, and I took Miss Campbell, and my private inter- 
preter. 

Although your father had been Minister in China, 
Her Imperial Majesty, the Empress Dowager, decorated 
him with a special Order of the Double Dragon, as 
Ambassador, the rank of his new post in Mexico. Her 
Majesty also presented to him a banner painted by her 
own hand for this occasion. He acknowledged the 
compliment, but informed Her Majesty that he would 
place these gifts in the care of the American Department 
of State until such time as he could accept them. But 
above all in value were the reassuring words that at the 
Court of China he was respected, trusted, and honored. 

My audience followed. After the throne formalities, 
we were seated and as one woman with another, the 
Empress Dowager and I conversed. I related to Her 
Majesty much of what I saw of her people and their pro- 
ductions in South China; I told her how they celebrated 
her seventieth birthday. We talked of the Imperial 
factories and their beautiful fabrics; of the schools, and 
of much else. She seemed deeply interested in hearing 
of her China as I really saw it. We spoke of her portrait 
in Washington, of our many interviews and visits together, 
and of our understanding and friendship growing out of 
them. Her Majesty had made for me a decoration, the 
first of this high rank ever bestowed by China upon a 



A "GOOD-LUCK STONE " 353 

foreign lady. Other gifts and one of China's choicest 
"feasts" had been sent to the Legation in yellow silk 
boxes tied with yellow cord. All proclaimed in beautiful 
characters the good wishes of Her Majesty, and for all I 
expressed my deepest appreciation. 

Our good-byes were said, and as I was leaving Her 
Majesty's presence I was asked to return. Her inter- 
preter placed in my hand a "good-luck stone" — a blood 
jade, with these words: "Her Majesty has taken this 
good-luck stone from her person and wishes to give it to 
you to wear during your long journey across the great 
waters, that you may safely arrive in your honorable 
country." This stone is not beautiful to the eye, but I 
took it as the most beautiful thing I had received from 
Her Majesty's hand. I pinned it upon my person, and 
I am wearing it now in sweet memory of the protecting 
thought that made it mine. 

When I reached home Wang observed the stone, and 
said, "That Blood Stone grand thing. No Chinaman, 
much money, can't get like that." Later I learned that 
Her Majesty wished me to know the history of the stone. 
This I learned through a Court Princess. The stone had 
been worn by some one of China's rulers for two thousand 
years, and the present Empress Dowager had worn it 
during her reign, during the siege of 1900, in her flight, 
during her stay hundreds of miles from her palace home, 
and during her return to her own Peking and Forbidden 
City, and it had protected her through all dangers. This 
protecting power she wished to go with me in my journey 
homeward. My gratitude was great, and my reply 
sincere. 

April 3. Your father, Miss Campbell, and I took our 



354 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

last walk on the city wall. The Western Hills stood out 
boldly. The cities — Native, Tartar, Imperial, and 
Forbidden, spread out before us as a story picture, and 
many memories presented themselves. We visited the 
partially completed Legation buildings and called on the 
American army officers and their families; then, coming 
into our own Legation quarters, we visited with our home 
people. First we called on Mr. Coolidge in his artistic, 
richly furnished quarters. Always we received a glad 
welcome in this home. We then called on Mr. Fletcher, 
Mr. and Mrs. Williams, Mr. and Mrs. Haskins, Mr. 
Nealy — in fact upon all our American Legation people. 
For five years Mr. Williams has been Secretary-interpreter 
in this Legation. He is a loyal American, a scholarly 
man, affable in manners, and works to the honor of the 
Legation. He is respected and admired by the Chinese 
as well as by the other nationalities. Mr. and Mrs. Wil- 
liams are thorough Chinese scholars, and with their 
ability and willingness to impart their information they 
are efficient workers. Their two little daughters are joys 
among us. 

April 4. At five o'clock a. m. we ate our last meal in 
Peking. As we started to the station, the servants be- 
gan firing big fire-crackers and hundreds of small ones 
woven together with long strings. This firing was loud 
and long. The servants were all dressed in their best and 
gracefully, in their accustomed ways, said their good- 
byes. Wang and first cook went with us. When we 
reached the station, even though it was early in the 
morning, many friends greeted us. All the members of 
the Chinese Foreign Office were there, also other high 
officials. Nearly all the Diplomats, Sir Robert Hart, and 



FAREWELL TO PEKING 355 

many others of the Customs staff, missionaries from far 
and near, and all our Legation and army people, and 
other Americans. Last, but not least, our servants of 
to-day and of days past were at the station to say their 
good wishes. Beautiful flowers were piled high in our 
car. The whistle blew, and we were off. Gratitude sent 
back its love-thoughts to those dear people upon the plat- 
form waving their good wishes. We waved and waved 
back as long as we could catch a glimpse of them. No 
honors could have been dearer to us than was their pres- 
ence on this parting occasion. 

We went overland by rail through the Yellow River 
district to Han Kow. The Chinese officials made all 
arrangements for us. The Viceroy at Nanking had writ- 
ten to your father again inviting us to take this most 
enjoyable trip. Surely everything was done for our 
comfort and pleasure. We had a private car containing 
a large sitting-room furnished with sofa-beds and other 
necessary furniture. There was one bedroom with all 
modern conveniences, and there was a smoking-room, 
a pantry, and a kitchen. Lao Hu and Mo Moi Yu, the 
little dogs given me by the Empress Dowager, are taking 
the journey with us. As we moved on through the city 
and country which had become familiar to us in our horse- 
back rides, we looked out upon them in the joys of sweet 
memories. At every station Chinese officials and sol- 
diers were present to pay their respects to your father. 
The officials sent into the car their large red cards, with 
a message that a " feast" was prepared for His Excel- 
lency. As your father could not go out to them, the 
" feast" was placed upon the car, and they were invited 
into our car and served with tea. These minor officials, 



356 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

highest in those localities, had been telegraphed from 
Peking, and they did their best to make our journey a 
pleasant one. At one place a Chinese band was playing. 

The day has been fine and restful. We reached 
Paoting Fu at eleven in the morning. A Chinese "feast" 
had been prepared and officials came to welcome "His 
Excellency." Mr. Killie, one of our siege friends, whom 
you know, accompanied your father to this "feast." 
All the missionaries in Paoting Fu came in a body to the 
station to greet us; even the dear children came, and we 
had a good visit, though it was short. Many of these 
people were siege companions and they inquired for you 
and Mary. We decorated our car with the many beau- 
tiful flowers given us in Peking and Paoting Fu, besides 
having many on the table. 

This is the season for making pilgrimages to the ceme- 
teries and the graves. As we pass through the country, 
we see thousands and thousands of graves made into 
cone-shaped mounds. On the very top of each are 
placed a printed prayer and green grass. The prayer 
and the tuft of green are marked tributes to the departed. 
The meaning in them is a sealed secret to us. As I 
looked upon those decorated graves and reflected, I 
could detect kindred thoughts held by these Chinese 
people and by our own people at home. 

More officials called at each large station until we 
reached the Yellow River. This river is China's sorrow. 
At times it floods the country, destroying everything 
and everybody in its raging anger. This destruction 
reaches over a vast territory. 

April 6. We reached the broad river bed with its 
now shallow waters this morning. The high winds of 



CROSSING THE YELLOW RIVER 357 

yesterday had made it impossible for our special boat 
to come up the river; hence we took two smaller ones, 
one for ourselves and one for our baggage. We had an 
interesting and exciting time crossing. It took a long 
while, and our skilled oarsmen had to work, and at times 
quickly, to keep off the sand bars, which we kept weaving 
between and around in a coaxing way. When we neared 
the shore for which we had been striving, word was sent 
to us, " Water too deep for your feet and too shallow for 
your boat." We were told that we must ascend an iron 
ladder which was attached to the high bridge. This 
we did — and up, up, up, we went in the straightest 
line " heavenward" that we ever took. We had to do 
it, hence we kept right on climbing until we reached the 
top of that giant railroad bridge. 

This bridge, which is one and one-half miles long, is 
in process of construction, and thousands of Chinese 
were working under the direction of foreigners. 

A private car awaited us. It was new and most 
beautifully furnished and divided into compartments 
like our former one. Wang and the cook brought from 
home everything for our use, even to ice and distilled 
water. Your father is happily resting; Miss Campbell 
is bright and cheery. We are having the happy days of 
a good ending of our seven years in China. The coun- 
try through which we are passing is productive, and the 
people industrious. We passed through the land of the 
" giant date" which the Chinese ladies in Peking often 
sent to us as a choice gift. As China has her local indus- 
tries, the traveller is continually making new discoveries. 

April g. Trains do not run at night, but we were off 
again at eight o'clock. We passed through rich, beau- 



358 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

tiful country. China's soil does not seem to weary in 
work well done any more than do her people. 

The Superintendent of the railroad, an interesting 
Frenchman, came from Han Kow to meet us at one of 
the stations. He said that at Wang Kia Tien we would 
see people making pilgrimages to a temple high upon 
the hills. As we approached, it was a strange sight to 
see the hundreds of Chinese men, women, and children 
making their way up and down that great height. They 
were all dressed in their best — best in quality and in 
colorings. The women and girls with their small bound 
feet were making this pilgrimage. Perhaps this visit and 
the visits to the tombs of their ancestors are in some way 
connected. This railroad Superintendent told us that 
many of these people came on the trains from ten to a 
hundred miles to visit this sacred temple. The hill- 
sides were thronged with people. Harmonious thoughts 
seemed to be guiding their footsteps, as there was no 
hurry, no confusion, no strife, in their movements. 

We reached Han Kow at six o'clock in the evening. 
The Consul, his daughter, and the Vice- Consul, friends 
of ours, met us at the station, and we were delightfully 
entertained in their home. The Viceroy called, and sent 
beautiful gifts. He also, at your father's request, granted 
buttons of lowest rank to our first boy Wang and to our 
first cook, in recognition of their faithful services. They 
were required to tell name, age, in what month they were 
born, their father's and grandfather's names, and much 
else. All was to be registered on the paper granting the 
button. These servants showed delight over this honor 
and wore these buttons in their hats with justifiable pride. 

Of the Yangtze River and the interesting cities along 



ADIEU TO THE ORIENT 359 

its shores, the beautiful country, the delightful people, 
and our friends, I have written you before. I will only 
ask you to tarry with us at Nanking, for that is the home 
of the Viceroy, Joe Fu, who invited your father to take 
this wonderful trip into interior China. The steamer 
reached Nanking late, but the American Consul was 
ready to take your father at once to call upon the Vice- 
roy, who had sent his private carriages to take our party 
to his home. The Viceroy had been waiting, and tiffin 
had been prepared, since twelve o'clock. The welcome 
and the interview were most cordial. 

Miss Campbell and I were taken to the American 
Consulate where we were most hospitably received. 
At eight o'clock the Consul gave a reception. The gen- 
tlemen reported a most satisfactory visit with His Ex- 
cellency, the Viceroy. Your father said that he never 
before attended a gathering of Chinese officials where 
so many of them spoke English. In South China the 
English language is more generally spoken by the Chi- 
nese than in the North. 

Our nine days' stay in Shanghai was full to the brim 
with calls, dinners, tiffins, receptions, shopping, and 
attending to baggage. Shanghai was the first to wel- 
come us to China, and she was the last to say good-byes. 

On April twenty-second we boarded the beautiful 
Siberia, and were homeward bound. As we sat on the 
captain's bridge and waved our final adieus to our Orient 
home, we detected many colorings in the brush-strokes of 
this life picture, seven years in the painting. We have 
descended from the bridge and entered our little cabin. 
Here comes a broadness of thought that reaches high, 
far, and deep. This thought is freighted with gratitude. 



3 6o LETTERS FROM CHINA 

[To a Sister] 

Steamship Siberia, April 28, 1905. 

THE Chinese have good minds and warm hearts, and 
the seeker to know them can detect much of value. 
Would that I could express in words what I have con- 
ceived the possibilities to be in the development of the char- 
acters of the Chinese ladies in foreign lines. The whole 
world detects the dawn of broader thoughts, and in clearer 
light the boundaries of narrower thoughts pass away. 

After the troubles of 1900 were settled and the nations 
joined hands of friendship with China, China had no 
reason for loving the Christian nations more than before; 
but, true to the Chinese character, she accepted the 
situation, and in an outward spirit acted as though she 
wished to do so. Whether she were sincere or not was 
never questioned in my mind. I, too, accepted the sit- 
uation and improved even the slightest opportunity to 
mingle with these people. These slight opportunities 
grew into greater and still greater ones. Rigid formalities 
were replaced by smiling cordialities, and later crowned 
with warm friendships. When the Chinese learned that 
I was sincerely interested in their country, and in them 
individually, in their customs and ways of living, they 
said, "Come. You shall see and know as you like." 
Much courtesy and hospitality passed between us. I was 
invited to many of their feast-day celebrations, and to 
services of their heart-sorrows. No criticism was in my 
thought. I rejoiced with them, and wept with them. 
Above rigid forms and rituals our hearts met, and they 
spoke a common language. With clasped hands and 
face-to-face prayers we said our good-byes. 



CHINESE AND MANCHUS 361 

The Manchu and Chinese ladies do not intermingle. 
When they entertained me at their homes or when I 
entertained them, they were all Manchus or all Chinese. 
The Manchu women have natural feet and retain their 
Manchu costume. The Chinese women have bound feet 
and retain their Chinese costumes. The men, however, 
all wear the Chinese costume and the Manchu queue. 
They hold offices and intermingle officially and socially. 
As a nation, all are called Chinese. 

The Chinese are not impulsive ; they ponder a question 
before they act upon it. As I look back and recall the 
conversations Her Majesty has granted me and those 
held with the Manchu Princesses and with the Chinese 
ladies, and now detect the uniform movement for a knowl- 
edge of the outer world, I am persuaded that it has been 
premeditated, sanctioned, and encouraged by Her Majesty, 
The iron bands of stern customs are being severed ap- 
parently without a jar. Unity of thought and action 
seems to be melting these bands asunder. May these 
people feel, even though they do not acknowledge, the 
guiding Christ-hand in their new, untried pathways. 

For three months last year I travelled down the coast, 
up the Yangtze and the Grand Canal, visiting missions, 
schools, and colleges for Chinese, both native and foreign. 
I also visited many native industries, as I wished to learn 
all that I could of what the Chinese were doing and were 
capable of doing. A wonderful revelation was given to 
me. I found in the Chinese fundamental qualities not to 
be surpassed, upon which to build the Christian living. 
Their great love for parents, for the aged, for children, for 
music, for pets of all kinds, for flowers, and for trees; 
their reaching out to a power beyond themselves; their 



362 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

steadfastness, their great memories, their accuracy, their 
sober watchfulness, their quiet forbearance, their innate 
politeness, their unequalled obedience to law, their civility 
to guests, their trustworthy honesty, their devout respect 
for education, and their industrious habits, all combine to 
show the making of a strong character of a strong people 
that will in time stand with the sisterhood of the great 
nations. The Chinese are so thorough, patient, and 
steadfast in what they undertake to do, that when they 
start upon the new road they will show a power that we 
dream not of, and will surprise the nations. In an effec- 
tive way China will resent the gross wrongs imposed upon 
her. This old giant nation is not weak in her people. 
The truly Christian world should lend her a hand. In 
the unity of the Christ-spirit let us pray, watch, and work 
all together for the best good of this great Empire with 
her millions of people, and thus add her strength for the 
uplifting of all humanity. 

The English language is steadily but slowly weaving 
itself into China's education. Some of her young men 
go abroad for study and return with a knowledge of 
English, but most of this knowledge among the Chinese 
is obtained in the mission schools and colleges here in 
China. There is an effort to make it possible for the 
Chinese to acquire a broader foreign education in their 
own home land. By carefully studying these efforts in 
their schools and colleges, I find that they are making a 
living progress. For many years English was not taught 
in the mission schools, as the missionaries wished to keep 
the educated native converts as helpers in their religious 
work. English-speaking Chinese were in great demand 
among the business men of the coast cities and were at- 



PALACE OF PRINCE SU 363 

tracted to these places. Now, the schools are many, and 
there are thousands of these students going out yearly 
from the small and larger schools, and hundreds of them 
can speak, read, and write the English language. Where- 
ever these Christianly educated people go, they take their 
convictions and influence with them. It is not lost in the 
business and social world, nor in home life. 

China's customs of long standing will not permit her 
people to mingle outside of their rank; hence the titled 
and ofhcial people and their families cannot attend 
mission nor public schools. For the last two years of my 
stay in the Orient there has been a manifestly growing 
desire among the higher-class ladies to know something 
beyond their walls. A Princess used to visit me who was 
a member of the family of one of the " iron-capped" Su 
princes. This family is strong in character and highly 
educated according to Chinese standards. Their palace 
was within our fortifications during the troubles of 1900, 
and they were obliged to vacate it. It was filled with 
most elegant, costly treasures, the gatherings of centuries, 
and we strove to protect them. The Boxers set fire to 
this palace and burned these valuables, which no money, 
time, nor love could replace. I often welcomed this 
Princess to my home and gained much information from 
her. I asked how and where she obtained such an ex- 
tensive knowledge of her country's history and customs in 
detail. She replied in earnest words, "My father's home 
was filled with everything by which to educate his children. 
My father, his father, his father's father, many generations 
back, were ambitious for their name, for their home, and 
for the members of their home." She raised her hands 
and dropped them again almost in despair and said, 



364 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

"It is all gone! Wiped away! What is there now for 
our children? Through your forbearance I bring them 
to your home." 

Another Princess of this family married a Mongolian 
Prince. (You will recall that I have mentioned these 
Princesses before.) This Mongolian Princess came to me 
one day when in Peking to see if in some way I could not 
intercede with the Empress Dowager in behalf of her 
husband. She wished that they might go to America to 
the St. Louis Exposition, but did not wish to intrude this 
wish upon Their Majesties. The thought was not the 
" Exposition," but an opportunity to get to America, in 
order to obtain information about mining. Mongolia 
is full of rich ores, and they wished to gain knowledge 
that would enable them to reap the benefit of these riches 
at their feet. It is needless to say it, but I did not take 
this message to Their Majesties. This Princess founded 
a school for Mongolian women and girls. She took fifteen 
of them to Peking as a part of their education. This high 
Princess ignored the deep chasm which separated her in 
rank from the common people and took her school girls to 
one of our American mission schools, and spoke encourag- 
ing words to these mission school girls. Her girls sang and 
she played upon the organ for them. This Mongolian 
Princess again ignored the deep chasm of custom and rank, 
and invited Mrs. Chang, one of the three Hsu sisters, to 
return with her and her school girls to Mongolia. A 
recent letter received from this Chinese lady tells me of her 
trip, of the country, and of their progressive school work. 
Their friendship for each other seems deep and genuine, 
although they are Manchu Princess and Chinese lady. 
This Princess also took with her an educated Japanese 



TEACHERS OF ENGLISH 365 

woman as a helper in forwarding her new undertakings 
among her people. Almost like magic, many schools for 
girls and boys are springing up in China, with much in 
them of foreign methods. Many ladies of the higher 
classes have said to me, "We wish our daughters to learn 
English. Our customs will not permit them to attend the 
schools. Through you could we not obtain some one to 
teach a class in our homes? Could not one of your 
American missionaries come?" I had to tell them that 
our missionaries had special work that filled their hours 
to overflowing. I presented this reaching out toward 
our missionaries in great earnestness to the mission 
workers. It seemed to be a missionary work in a mission 
field that was asking them to come. I admitted that we 
could not see now what the harvest would be; but surely, 
some of the good seed would take root, grow, and bear 
fruit to the nourishment of heart and mind. 

As yet, these Chinese do not seem to reach out for 
Christianity, but this may be God's way of sending them 
to seek and find the Christ. Our missionaries' hands and 
hearts were too full, and workers too few, to respond to 
this call. The Japanese, ever watchful and ready, took 
the extended hand, and are now teaching English and 
foreign ideas to these higher-class Chinese. But if we did 
all that we could, it is better thus. 



[To Princess Shun] 

Pasadena, California, 
March 20, igo6. 
MAY I, through you, extend my most cordial greet- 
ings, and loving gratitude to Her Imperial Majesty, the 



366 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Empress Dowager of China, for so kindly remembering 
me in sending across the seas these beautiful palace pic- 
tures. Officially my thanks were extended to Her Maj- 
esty, but official fixed rules do not utter woman's thoughts 
to woman. These precious gifts add still more value to 
the already long list which I highly prize. Through them 
I read the old, old story of sympathy and love, and they 
recall to me the thoughtful, earnest words of Her Majesty's 
conversation. I watch with intense interest the new 
lines of work that are being taken up by her people and 
my best wishes are with Their Majesties, their Court, and 
their vast Empire. 

May the time come when all nations shall join hands 
in true friendship. Her Majesty's bountiful gift extended 
to our country in her late disaster is rich in its expression 
of sympathy and good will. I love to talk with my people 
of Their Majesties, the Princesses, and the Chinese ladies, 
as I have seen and known them. Your friendship I will 
always remember. Her Majesty, your Imperial sister, 
found a warm place in my heart and is treasured there. 
Please extend to the Imperial Princess my cordial greetings 
and to the other Princesses my best of good wishes. 

Would that I could welcome you to my new American 
home, which is graced with many beautiful Chinese treas- 
ures. My great happiness in this home does not make 
me forget my dear friends in China. Again and again 
I look at your many photographs and they almost speak 
to me. 




Princess Shun, Sister of the Empress and Niece of the 
Empress Dowager 



THE EMPRESS DOWAGER 367 

[To an Aunt] 

Pasadena, California, 
November 4., 1906. 

THE following statements I lovingly and gladly write 
in answer to the first favor you have ever asked of rne. 
China and her people hold a warm place in my thoughts 
and I would like to say much in this letter regarding them. 
My hours are too full to prepare a paper for you, so in 
love I commit these pages, hoping that they may serve 
you in making up the programme for your club day. 

Her Majesty, the Empress Dowager of China, is one 
of the strong characters of history. Our many interviews 
were long and full of deep interest and profit. I will not 
undertake to give you a book sketch of Her Majesty's 
life, but will endeavor to portray this life as I saw it and 
knew it. Those who know of this strong woman's early 
life testify that she was an educated and beautiful woman 
when the Emperor Hsien Feng took her as his first second- 
ary wife. She bore him a son, who became Emperor and 
died in youth. The first wife and the present Empress 
Dowager ruled jointly. After the death of the former, 
the present Dowager Empress practically became the 
ruler. She chose and adopted as her own child the young 
son of her deceased husband's brother as the coming 
Emperor, and he to-day is the ruling Emperor of China, 
Kwang Hsu. 

China, with her centuries of history, is no child in her 
thought and actions. Of old her people took no thought 
of personal comforts, as we count comforts. Time and 
labor to them were simply mediums through which to 
perfect their work. The productions of those days stand 



368 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

even now proclaiming in unfaltering tones the patient 
and enduring love-thought and labor which fashioned 
and produced them. The Chinese formerly built for all 
time, and there is much to-day over twenty centuries old 
that proclaims the quality of that building. Such qual- 
ities in the hearts and minds of a people forge a nation of 
steel. In time past China ran like a clock, each wheel 
did its work and all ran together. The foreigner came, 
br Dke into the clock-work, and then complained of China's 
poor machinery. China stood alone during the rise and 
fall of many nations. Then baby nations come to her 
dictating with their partially tried ideas of progress. 
China protested against this foreign intervention as these 
troublesome elements endangered her entire system of 
existence. She believed that something must be done, 
at any cost, to drive out these invaders — hence the siege 
of 1900. The Chinese are not a savage nor warlike 
people, but their siege methods were crude, unwise, and 
cruel. This awful event was the outcome of many trying 
circumstances which foreigners had created in a nation 
heretofore at peace with the world. What China as a 
nation and her people individually suffered in 1900 is a 
blank page in written history. The ravages of war 
destroy, and the " spoils of war" carry away. Through 
these avenues China is bereft of many of her choicest, 
most valuable treasures. 

Many of the so-called new and wonderful discoveries 
of to-day China knew and used centuries ago. To illus- 
trate: A professor of mathematics from America was 
visiting a college in North China. He told me that he 
said to the college professor, " There is a new method in 
mathematics being taught in America. It is called the 



AUDIENCES AND COURTESIES 369 

'short cut' and is a method of casting out the nines." 
The professor listened, then said, "The Chinese have 
been practising that method farther back than recorded 
history goes." A student was called up to prove it. 
Sure enough, it was the "short cut," the casting out of 
the nines. This is only one of the "new" old things 
coming to light. Through close application to honest 
seeking in China many wonderful and profitable facts are 
unearthed. 

The first recognition that Her Majesty, the Empress 
Dowager, ever gave the foreign ladies was December 13, 
1898. In order to obtain this recognition, there was 
much manoeuvring on the part of the Throne and the 
Diplomatic Corps. It took over two months to bring 
about this first audience given by Her Majesty to the 
wives of the seven Ministers then in Peking. The Em- 
press Dowager had never before seen a foreign lady. 
After the Court returned to its capital in 1902, other 
audiences were given to the ladies of the Diplomatic 
Corps. The Joint Note and the Protocol had been 
signed. The pledges of friendship had been given be- 
tween the foreign nations and China. As I cherished 
no animosity, I endeavored to plan some way in which to 
show my willingness to let by-gones be by-gones and with 
Mr. Conger's ever willing, ready, and efficient counsel and 
help, I succeeded. My first effort was to invite the Court 
Princesses to tiffin at my home. Her Majesty granted 
the request and eleven of the highest-ranking Court 
ladies graced the American Legation. Their coming was 
Imperial in general and in detail. It was their first 
introduction into a foreign home. This recognition of 
friendship from the Throne opened the doors to other 



370 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

friendships. Before an audience with Her Majesty or a 
visit with her Princesses and ladies, I considered their 
customs and our customs to detect, if possible, some 
thought in common. I always succeeded in finding such 
a thought, and with this as our starting-point, conversa- 
tion never faltered. Our friendships grew stronger; we 
trusted one another, and I have every reason to believe 
that our respect and affections were mutual. 

At one of the private audiences I asked Her Majesty 
if she would honor me with her autograph and that of the 
Empress and the Court Princesses. She frankly replied 
that if I would send a book such as I desired she would 
grant my request. To-day I have in my possession the 
Emperor's written seal, the Empress Dowager's written 
seal, the Empress's written seal, and the character auto- 
graphs of the Court Princesses. These autographs are 
not mere signatures. Did not this act, in a new and 
beautiful way, reveal more of friendship's crown! 

The time is coming — is now come — for a great work 
to be done in China. There is a wonderful awakening 
among these people, and a reaching for something out- 
side of their great nation and their long-time customs and 
ideas. The Chinese had a claim of birthright and ad- 
hered to it; I too, had a claim of birthright and adhered 
to it. Between these two conceptions there was a great 
distance, but this distance was annihilated by the wireless 
telegraphy of the heart's sympathy, and we saw that we 
were under one canopy of Love. This clearness of vision 
remains unclouded since my return to my own land. I 
have received messages and gifts from Her Imperial 
Majesty, letters and pictures from the Princesses, from the 
officials' wives and daughters, from mission school girls, 



CHINESE GIRLS' SCHOOLS 371 

and from our servants. I treasure these expressions of 
friendship. The ladies write to me of their active under- 
takings in a broader education. I learn much of their 
endeavors through these letters written by their own 
hands. They are publishing a woman's daily newspaper 
in Peking. It is eagerly read by the Chinese ladies and 
is read and explained to others. 

I am glad that I have known the Empress Dowager 
of China, known the young Empress, the Princesses, and 
the Chinese ladies. This mingling with them and know- 
ing them has broadened my view, and charity smiles its 
blessings. True friendship is sunshine to the day and a 
lamp to the darkness of night. 



[To a Niece] 

Pasadena, California, 
September 22, 1907. 

YOU ask me to write you more about China. This I 
am always glad to do. 

Letters from Peking tell me that the China of to-day 
is not like the China of five years ago. The change is 
felt everywhere, but nowhere is it felt more than in the 
homes among the women. In the city of Peking there 
now are seventeen Chinese girls' schools conducted and 
supported by Chinese ladies, some of them Princesses. 
These ladies are now more eager than ever before to be 
educated in broader lines. There are willing hearts 
and ready hands among their own people to help them, 
and these helpers are adding fuel to this kindling desire 
for something beyond their walls. The Imperial Prin- 
cess has opened a school for girls in her palace. Prince 



372 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

Su has his own school for his family of daughters and 
nieces. The Mongolian Princess' school of which I 
have written has increased to about one hundred and 
fifty women and girls. Mrs. Chang, who studied the 
mission translations, is still assisting the Mongolian 
Princess. This strong-minded Chinese lady and this 
strong-minded Manchu Princess are doing a wonderful 
school work together for the Mongolian women. 

I receive letters from Mrs. Chang telling of their 
school work. Her small feet are unbound and she rides 
her pony with ease and freedom both in thought and 
body. Prince Su's third sister has a school of eighty or 
more pupils in Peking. She herself stays in the school- 
room and teaches from ten until three. There is also a 
good school in Princess K'e's large palace. I have many 
times visited these palaces and conversed with these 
Princesses and ladies and I am not surprised that this 
fulness of heart and mind is being manifested in grow- 
ing activity. Private schools for girls of both the higher 
and lower classes are being started throughout China. 
I am now persuaded without one doubt that this uni- 
form action was quietly planned and sanctioned by the 
Throne, before this departure with its great responsibil- 
ities was undertaken. 

The Chinese are so patient, thorough, and steadfast, 
that I firmly believe that if foreigners will let them work 
in their own way, they will become a strong nation in 
line with strong nations. The cords of friendship are 
drawing tighter about China and America. 

The attitude of the United States that she was not 
warring with China in 1900 and that she recognized no 
spoils of war; the attitude that made her give back to 



ATTITUDE TOWARD CHINA 373 

China the large quantity of silver which fell into her 
possession at Tientsin; that made her give over to the 
Chinese Government, unmolested, the treasury and its 
treasures in the Forbidden City; that caused her, with- 
out compulsion, to cancel the Boxer indemnity fund, is 
an attitude too deep, too broad, too high for word ex- 
pression. Does not this attitude reveal a strong current 
of sisterly good will, when it is able to sweep away the 
heavy weights of financial gain? This attitude is not 
one of spontaneity; the seed was brought over in the 
Mayflower; it was planted in the virgin soil of liberty, 
where it rooted, and was watered with treasured dew- 
drops; was nourished into being in Love's tenderness; 
was sustained in Truth's fortitude. This is the story of 
our country's attitude. 

The full, extended hand does not return empty. 
When the ravages of the earthquake on our Pacific 
Coast baffled man and left sorrow in havoc's wake, then 
China in sisterly good will offered a helping hand. The 
Boxer indemnity fund is now to be used by China to 
educate many of her young men in America. Good will 
is ever sounding its sweet melody in eternity's chorus. 
Now and then a strain is caught even amid time's awful 
din, and this strain awakens to new activities, to new 
steadfastness, to new devotion. 

Letters written to me by Chinese Princesses and 
ladies impart much information which I highly prize. 
Their woman's daily paper has a large circulation, and 
is thoroughly read. In some of the schools it is read 
as a part of the course of instruction; it treats of topics 
of general interest. 

But their revered Confucius is not forgotten, nor 



374 LETTERS FROM CHINA 

should he be forgotten. There is a patriotic awakening 
in China that seems to come from the depths of mind 
and heart. It is no unusual thing to see on the streets 
young students in military uniform; military drill is uni- 
versal in their institutions. The opium reform is being 
pushed with energy, and promises great good to the 
Chinese people. China's financial situation is appalling, 
but her sturdy, quiet activity will bring her out of this 
dilemma. She will overcome the threatening storm, and 
calm the tragically troubled sea. Every foreign idea 
strikes a discordant Chinese idea, and it takes time and 
watchful listening to catch the harmonious chords, as the 
vibrations destroy the discordant ones. I watch with 
deep interest the steps that China is taking; her joys are 
my pleasures; her sorrows are my regrets. May China 
in peace and good will walk hand in hand with the other 
great nations! 

Other nations have individualities, but by constant 
contact with one another, these individualities are tuned 
into comparative harmony. If China wishes to be in 
accord with this universal chorus, she will have to think 
it out, and work it out in her own way. She has a mighty 
problem before her. May China's rulers and her sub- 
jects stand as a unit, and all work together for the pres- 
ervation of their vast Empire. China belongs to her 
people, and her people should arouse themselves to pro- 
tect their home land. They can do it, and do it in a 
dignified, honorable way. Their positiveness, toned 
by their innate politeness and tempered by tireless activ- 
ity, will awaken a slumbering strength which is all their 
own. Every nation plants within itself a thought-seed 
which it cultivates, waters, directs in growth, and pro- 



SYMPATHY FROM CHINA 375 

tects through its many advancing stages. It protests 
against other nations entering its domain and pouring 
on more water when not needed, cultivating and prun- 
ing where not desired, and then carrying away the fruits 
— if there are fruits. Why not let China plant, culti- 
vate, water, prune, and reap her own? 

I find that the Chinese have deep feelings, and they 
express them. This fact I have had beautifully shown to 
me of late. Messages of respect and sympathy from high 
Chinese officials have hastened with electric speed and 
steam impulsion to America and into my home; and in 
sending these messages, China unconsciously joined hands 
with other nations in expressing a common thought of 
good will and sympathy. The tender touch of a woman's 
heart was given to me in messages from Her Imperial 
Majesty the Empress Dowager, and in letters written by 
the Princesses and Chinese ladies to help lift the clouds 
of sorrow and reveal a clearer, brighter sky. The high- 
est, deepest, broadest feelings of man everywhere, awaken 
him to better thoughts and better deeds. The One Great 
Heart purifies and propels. How near and how far are 
the infinite love-beats which proclaim a living sympathy! 
No ruthless hand can retard them or even touch them. 
The constant sympathy in friendship's endless chain has 
welded each link strongly. Sometimes its activity sinks 
out of human sight, but in buoyancy of life it rises to 
view again. All people and all nations form a part of 
this welded chain, and at times feel the buoyancy of this 
sympathy. China holds a link in this chain. 

May the Oriental "dawn" and the Occidental "twi- 
light" be effaced by the constant sunshine of one eternal 
day, alike for all. 



AFTERWORD 

China's Bereavement 

November i6 y igo8. 
THE world's sympathy goes out to China this day. 
Official announcement is made of the death of His Im- 
perial Majesty the Emperor of China, Kwang Hsu; and 
of Her Imperial Majesty the Empress Dowager. Every 
nation has felt the touch of sorrow's hand; and now in 
sympathy the nations reach out to China to soothe that 
touch. What the nations feel I feel more keenly. The 
Emperor I have met many times officially. The Empress 
Dowager has received me, officially and socially, to an 
acquaintance that grew into friendship. 

Her Majesty's keen perception knew the nations, and 
she often spoke to me with deep appreciation of America's 
attitude toward China. She lived a long life of usefulness, 
and with a steady hand, clear mind, and loyal heart, 
guided the affairs of her country. Through the whirl- 
winds of excited opinions, and through the threatening 
storms, this woman stood in her might and baffled them. 
History claims the record. This record the world re- 
cognizes; and China knows it. In my conversations with 
this great woman I noted her marked love for her country 
and for her people, and how earnestly she was reaching 
out to uplift the masses and to increase woman's useful- 
ness. May this dawning of a brighter day, revealing 
the character of Chinese women, increase to noonday 
splendor; and in this splendor may the world recognize 
the real character of this Imperial Ruler! 

376 



AFTERWORD 377 

For forty-seven years this able woman has stood at 
the head of the Chinese Empire, and strong men have 
given their support. In a land where woman has had 
so little official standing, Her Majesty's achievements 
make her ability and strength more pronounced; and 
China, surely, must be jealous for this reign in the sight 
of other nations. With her keen perception, this ruler 
recognized the future demands which were fast pressing 
themselves upon her people; and she worked to prepare 
for their wise acceptance. 

Her last edict is pathetic. Weary with battlings upon 
the troubled sea of this life, she was ready and willing for 
others to stand at the helm and guide the Ship of State. 
"The Dragon Throne" will in justice claim a recognition 
of its rights, and China's stanch men will stand loyal. 

The history of her days marks the course of a strong 
woman's steppings. These steppings have been acknowl- 
edged by the great Chinese Empire in titles and high 
honors while she lived, and still greater honors after her 
death. 

Through this woman's life the world catches a glimpse 
of the hidden quality of China's womanhood. It savors 
of a quality that might benefit that of the Western World. 
The Empress Dowager of China loved and honored her 
great country; that country loved and honored its great 
ruler. May China continue to honor her commendable 
deeds, and make it possible for the world to place her 
name among the makers of history! May China's 
sorrows diminish, and may her joys increase! 

The End 



INDEX 



INDEX 



A., Dr., missionary, 95 

Age of Chinese structures, 210, 368 

Ages, Chinese ask, 263 

Agriculture, Temple of, Peking, 3, 
162, 170, 185, 191 

Allied Army in relief of Peking, 97- 
100, 102, 105-108, 113-117, 119, 
126, 131, 137-139, x 42, 144, i45> 
147, 149-157, 159-165, 168-177, 
182, 184, 185, 187, 188, 190, 191, 
194-196, 198, 199, 208, 216, 223, 
230, 281 

Amah, maid, duties of, 37 

American history known to Chinese 
woman, 267 

American Legation, Peking, 5, 26, 
27, 38, 92, 103, 106, 109, no, 112, 
113, 121, 127, 133, 151, 154, 156, 
160, 161, 164, 165, 191, 194, 230, 
243, 261, 262, 273, 295, 296, 328, 
347-349, 354 

American Minister (Mr. E. H. Con- 
ger), official acts of, 24, 39, 74, 75, 
85, 90-99, 101, 105-109, in, 115, 
124, 134-139, 146, 148-151, 153- 
155, !5 8 > l6 5, J 75, 179-182, 187, 
190, 192, 196-199, 205-207, 213, 
225, 229-231, 237, 242-244, 247, 
261, 273, 288, 294-296, 308, 319, 
342, 344, 346, 348, 350, 352, 358, 

359, 369 . 

Americans in Philippines, 342, 343 

Amoy, 342 

Ancestor worship, 46, 188, 249, 250 

Ancestral halls, 249-251, 281 

Anderson, Consul and Mrs., 321 

Animals, treatment of, 9, 21, 280, 281; 
not seen in Canton, 200 

Ann Arbor, Mich., students from, 331 

Architecture, 32 

Army, Chinese, afraid of or in sym- 
pathy with Boxers, 89, 95. See 
also Soldiers, Chinese 

Army reviewing grounds, 78 

Art, Chinese, 260, 276-278 



Art, Japanese, 277 

Artificial flowers, 72 

Aster, symbolism of, 270 

Astronomy, place of, in Chinese his- 
tory, 31; observatory and instru- 
ments for study of, 53, 54, 172, 177, 
210; thoughts upon, 55 

Athletes, Chinese, 32 

Audiences with Their Majesties, 39- 
42, 189, 216-224, 228, 229, 234- 
240, 244, 245, 247, 248, 252, 254- 
256, 271, 272, 291, 292, 304, 319, 

352, 353, 369, 37o 
Austrian charge d'affaires, 130 - 
Austrain Legation, no 
Austrian Minister, 24 
Autographs from Chinese Court, 370 
Avenue of giant monoliths, 16, 17 

B 

Bainbridge, Mr., American Secre- 
tary, 75, 134, 184 
Bainbridge, Mrs., 184, 220, 231 
Band, Sir Robert Hart's, 186, 264, 

265 
Banks, Chinese employed in, 8, 9 
Banquets, late, Chinese do not like, 

243 
Bat, symbolism of, 70 
Beard, custom in regard to, 51 
Beggars, 68, 69 
Belgian Legation, no 
Bell Temple, 57-59 
Bells, large, 58, 330 
Bible customs common to China, 8, 72 
Bible quotations, 115-117, 124, 128 
Birthday celebrations, 263-266, 310- 

312, 319 
Birthdays of gods, 208 
Blake, Sir Henry and Lady, 205 
Blood jade, 353 
"Blue gown," China the country of 

the, 5 ; Peking the city of the, 238, 

3i7 
Board of Finance, 306 
Board of Rights, 266 



381 



3 82 



INDEX 



Board of Trade, methods of, 209, 210 

Boards, Government, 62 

Bodies, whole, pass into whole spirits, 

7i 

Bound feet, 53, 254, 361 

Boxer indemnity fund, 373 

Boxer Rebellion. See Siege of Pe- 
king, Missionaries and Missions, 
and Boxers 

Boxers, 88-91, 93, 95, 100-107, I]C 4, 
116, 126, 131, 140-142, 144, 145, 
163, 164, 171, 173, 174, 183, 184, 
215, 279, 283, 363 

"Boys" as house servants, 6, 8, 20, 

36, 37 

Brazier, Mrs., 35 

Brazil, 1 

Brewster, Captain, of American Le- 
gation, 242 

Bride's gifts, ceremony of presenta- 
tion of, 299-302 

Brides never told sad news, 269 

Bridge over Yellow River, 357 

Bridge, perfection of construction of, 
210 

Bridges in grounds of Summer Palace, 

239 
British cemetery without the walls, 

Peking, 29, 164 
British Legation, Peking, 27, 40, 42, 
101, 109, no, 113, 114, 118, 120, 
122, 127, 133, 151, 156, 162, 170, 
184, 186, 196, 350 
British Legation, Western Hills, 98 
British Minister (Sir Claude Mac- 
Donald, Dean of Diplomatic Corps), 
24, 40, 92, 108, in, 114, 122, 130- 
133, 138, 175 
British Minister (in 1905), 351 
British railway into Peking, 187, 188 
Bronze Cow, Summer Palace, 239 
"Brother on the wall, my," 148, 149 
Bruce, Mt, 75 
Buddhism, 33, 62, 63, 277 
Building, substantial, 210, 368 
Burning of all writings, 13, 62 
Buttons, granting of, 358 



Cablegram held back by Yamen, 

134-136, 138 
Cages, pirates confined in, 201, 202 
Calendar, Chinese, 208, 319 
Camel-back bridge, 239 



Camel trains, 12, 44, 173, 233 

Campbell, Miss, 299, 305, 315, 318, 
341, 349, 35°, 352, 353, 357, 359 

Canal boats hauled by coolies, 65 

Canal, Grand, 210, 320 

Canal system, 61 

Canton, 199-203, 325, 342 

Capital city of China, 62, 327, 329 

Caricatures of Empress Dowager, 247 

Carl, Miss, 248, 271, 272, 291 

Carrier pigeons, 209 

Carts, none in Hang Chow, 321, 323; 
none in Foochow, 339 

Cemeteries, private, 10, n; similar- 
ity between Chinese and foreign, 
254 

Cemetery, British, 29, 164 

Cemetery, British laid railroad 
through, 187, 188 

Chaffee, General Adna R., 160, 161, 
165, 170, 173, 182, 185, 191, 194, 
196-198, 245 

Chaffee, Mrs., 197 

Chamulpo, 85 

Chang, Mrs., 364, 372 

Ch'ang P'ing Chou, 14, 17 

Change of clothing controlled by 
edict, 72, 274, 275 

Characters of written language, 31, 
200; Chinese, Japanese, and Ko- 
rean identical, 86 

Chefoo, 85 

Cheshire, Mr., 85, 101, 106, 108, 128 

Ch'ien Lung, Emperor, 249-251 

Ch'ien Lung, Empress of, 249, 251 

Ch'ienmen gate, 2, 104, no, 136, 161, 
162, 164 

Children, Chinese love of, 32, 47, 71, 
280, 361; bought or adopted, 47, 
51; birth of, an honor to woman, 
50; of secondary wives, 282; good 
manners of, 288, 305 ; love their par- 
ents, 309, 361 

Ch'in Dynasty, 31, 61 

Ch'in Shih, Emperor, 13, 61, 62 

China, contrasted with Brazil, 1; a 
country of walls, 1, 317; thickly 
populated, 4; "one vast graveyard," 
5; the country of the "blue gown," 
5 ; no idle people in, 8; little cruelty 
to animals in, 9; size of farms in, 
10; prosperity of, 12; adoption of 
name of, 13; foreign troops in, 25, 
26; oldest continuous nation, 29; 
natural resources of, 30; has old- 



INDEX 



3*3 



est language, 30; religion of, 33; 
English language in, 43, 255, 314, 
326, 359> 3 6 2, 363'> walled herself 
in, 49; word of Confucius law in, 
61; invaded by foreigners, 65; rela- 
tions with outside world, 66; con- 
trol over its people, 93; relations 
with foreign legations and nations, 
100, 102, 105-108, 131, 138, 139, 
181; anti-foreign spirit of, repre- 
sented by Boxers, 141, 142, 152; 
loss to, 104, 144, 177, 284, 296, 
368; absence of Government of, 
163, 177, 195; United States not 
warring on, 164; had treasures 
hidden from foreigners, 171; com- 
pared to astronomical instruments, 
172; struggle of, against inroads, 
and sympathy with, 176, 188, 189, 
202, 323, 368, 374; if divided 
among nations, 189; the ruling 
power of, restored, 190; Joint 
Note submitted to, 192; Joint 
Note accepted by, 193, 195; cities of, 
199; written characters of , 200; has 
respect for United States, 205 ; good 
wishes for, 208, 227, 374, 377 ; states- 
men of, 215; at peace with eleven 
nations, 216, 219, 360, 369; changed 
attitude of, 220, 223, 236, 237, 360; 
neutrality of, in Russo-Japanese 
War, 262; antiquity of, 290, 317, 
367; foreign educational work in, 
314 et seg.; individualism of, 317; 
flag of, 319; patriotism in, 321, 323, 
334, 374; new civilization in, 339; 
Yellow River called "sorrow" of, 
356; local industries in, 357; will 
resent wrongs, 362; extended aid 
after San Francisco earthquake, 366, 
373 ; awakening in, 370, 37 1 ; friend- 
ship with United States, 372, 373; 
financial situation of, 374; bereave- 
ment of, in loss of rulers, 376, 377 

Chinese and Manchu ladies do not 
intermingle, 361 

Chinese- characteristics of , 6-9, 12, 14, 
18, 19, 21, 29-36, 43, 45, 46, 48, 
49, 5 6 , 59-6i> 64-66, 68-71, 83, 
88, 93, 116, 141, 155, 175, 188, 189, 
202, 204, 210, 228, 236, 250, 254, 
255, 264, 266, 269, 274, 280, 287, 
289, 290, 294-296, 298, 303, 309, 
310, 317, 321-323, 339, 341, 360- 
363> 367-369, 372, 374, 375 



Chinese Gazettes, 140 

Ch'ing, Prince, 40, 41, 97, 99, 126, 

131, 137, 142, 169, 179, 181, 192, 

219, 225, 229, 243, 306; family of, 

41, 225, 227, 282, 350 
Chinkiang, 334~337 
"Chit-book" system, 209 
Chow Dynasty, 61 
Chow Tung Sang, Mr., of Canton, 

and family, 202-205 
Christianity introduced into China, 

63 

Christmas gifts, from Chinese ser- 
vants, 37; after the siege, 191, 246 

Clans, 71 

Classical education, of Chinese, 32, 
56, 59, 60, 336, 337 

Climate of North China, 43, 83 

Cloisonne workers at Imperial In- 
dustrial School, 297 

Clothing, winter and summer, 72, 
274, 275 

Cloud, Mr., 321 

Coal, difficulty to obtain, 173, 233 

Coal Hill, Peking, 165, 166 

Coffin, significance to Chinese, 272, 

273 
Color, Chinese study, 218, 249, 287 
"Coming troops." See Allied Army 

in relief of Peking. 
Commercial treaty between China and 

United States, 283 
Compound, definition of a, 5 ; family 

homes in, 266 
Concession, foreign, in Shanghai, 4, 

319; in treaty ports, 82, 83; none 

in interior cities, 83; in Canton, 

200 
Confucian temple, Peking, 60, 61; 

at Nan Yang College, 319, 320; at 

Nanking, 329 
Confucianism, 33 
Confucius, 60-62, 320, 329, 373 
Conger, Mr. E. H., American Minis- 
ter, official acts of. See American 

Minister 
Contortionists, Chinese skilled as, 

32 
Conversations with Chinese ladies, 

294, 37° 
Converts, native Christian, 93, 101, 

103, 109, 147, 158, 165, 167, 183, 

184, 192, 316 
Coolidge, Mr., of American Legation, 

242, 243, 354 



3 «4 



INDEX 



Coolies, work performed by, 4, 7, 64, 
65, 200, 321; food and clothing of, 
7, 8; do not give personal service, 
8; endurance of, 78; form Boxer 
bands, 88; efficient workers during 
siege, 122; making railroad grade, 
187 

Costume, Chinese, 73, 74, 229, 240; 
foreigners ridicule, 289; of Chinese 
and Manchu, 361. See also Dress 

Couriers, Chinese, during siege, 97, 
98, 100, 105, 119, 132, I43~i45> 
147, 148, 153 

Court interpreter, 225, 227, 228 

Crime, worst Chinese, 71; punish- 
ments for, 201, 202 

Crops, Chinese, 10, 78, 83 

Cruelty to animals, 9, 281 

Customs, similar, 254, 294, 295, 370 

Czarevitch, Russian warship, 346 

D 

D., Mr., 156 

Daughters-in-law may not sit in pres- 
ence of mothers-in-law, 281 

Daylight, Chinese fight in, 97, 116 

Death of priest, ceremonies attendant 
upon, 84 

Decoration of the Double Dragon. 
See Order of the Double Dragon 

De Giers, Mr., Russian Minister, 92. 
See Russian Legation and Minister 

Degrees conferred upon scholars, 56 

Denby, Colonel, 5 

Dewey, Admiral, 207 

Diplomatic Corps and foreign Min- 
isters, 24, 38, 40, 66, 67, 89-92, 94, 
97, 99, 100, 105, 107, 108, in, 115, 
i3*> *33> *35> i37-i39> 142, i43> 
147, i49-i5 2 > *54-i5 8 > l62 > *73> 
175-179, 181, 182, 184, 189, 190, 
192, 195, 196, 198, 216-219, 222- 
224, 229, 236, 238, 256, 291, 295, 
304, 319, 348, 351, 354, 369. See 
American Minister, British Minis- 
ter, etc. 

Doctor, foreign, visited Emperor, 26 

Dogs presented by Empress Dowager, 

232, 355 
Doric, S. S., 4 
Dragon, symbolism of, 70 
Drawing, Chinese, 277 
Dress, of servants, 6; of coolies, 8, 

79, 321; of officials, 39; of ladies 



of rank, 41, 73, 74, 229, 271, 282, 
300, 310; winter and summer, 72, 
274, 275; of Koreans, 85; of man- 
darin's family, 203; of Manchu 
ladies, 229; of Chinese and Man- 
chu, 361. See also Costume, Chi- 
nese 

Drew, Mr. and Mrs., 339, 340 

"Drought devil," ravages of, 256 

Dust storm, 44 

Dutch Legation, no 

Dutch Minister, 175 

Dutton, Lieut., 26 

Dwarf flowering trees, 225, 226 



Earth, Temple of, Peking, 3 

Economy characteristic of Chinese, 
14, 19, 3i, 6°> 83, 298 

Edicts from the Throne, 96, 139-142, 
219, 253, 254, 274, 377 

Education of Chinese youths in for- 
eign countries, 252-254, 373; for- 
eign, in China, 314 

Education, respect for, 31, 32, 362 

Eighth moons, two in year misfortune 
to Throne, 142, 208 

Elephant stables, 174, 175 

Emergencies, Chinese character in, 
64 

Emperor, powers and perquisites of, 
3, i3> 43> 46, 62, 169, 249 

Emperor, the late, 22-27, 4°> 4 1 * 43> 
46, 97, 106, 163, 169, 181, 215-217, 
219, 220, 222, 227, 239, 240, 244, 
245> 271, 351, 367, 37o, 376 

Emperor's brother, bride of, 245, 279 

Empress Dowager, the late, 22-27, 
39-42, 96, 97, 106, 140, 141, 163, 
169, 181, 215, 217-225, 227, 229, 
232, 234-236, 239, 240, 244, 245, 
247, 248, 252-257, 264, 265, 271, 
272, 274, 278, 291-293, 304, 306, 
35!-353> 361, 3 6 4-3 6 7> 3 6 9"37i> 
375-377 

Empress, wife of late Emperor, 42, 
163, 169, 215, 222, 227, 239, 240, 
244, 245, 270, 351, 366, 370, 371 

Endurance of Chinese structures, 210, 
368 

English language in China, 43, 314, 
326, 359, 362, 363; "pidgin Eng- 
lish," 255 

English sovereign, honor to, 205 



INDEX 



385 



Episcopal mission, Han Kow, 333, 

334 
Etiquelte, 204, 228, 266, 280, 281, 

305 
Evans, Admiral, and party, 247 
Examination Halls, Peking, 55, 56, 

172, 177, 212, 215, 328; Nanking, 

327 



F., Dr., of Soo Chow, 326 

Fable of the breaking of the iron bar, 

31. 3 2 

Facial expression of Chinese, 36 
Famine, influence of, on forming 

Boxer bands, 88 
Fans, 72 

Farms, 10, 78, 83 
Favier, M., 166 
Feast days, 274, 319 
Feet, binding of, 53, 254, 361 
Fengtai village burned, 90 
Fertilization of land, 83 
Financial situation of China, 374 
Fire, no way to fight, 104 
Firearms, Boxers afraid of, 105 
Fireworks, China home of, 76 
Fiske, Mr., of Shanghai, 320 
Five Hundred and Eight Idols, Hall 

of, 78, 79 
Flag, Chinese, use of, 319 
Flags of Legations, etiquette of, 28, 

•67 
Fletcher, Mr., 354 
Flowering trees, potted, 225, 226 
Fog-bound ship, experience of pas- 
sengers on, 87 
Foochow, 338, 339 
Food, cultivating a liking for Chinese, 

267 
Food of coolies, 7 

Forbidden City, Peking, 2, 22, 25, 
161, 170, 171, 215, 216, 222, 244, 
245, 256, 373 
Foreign educational work, 314, 338 
Foreign Office, Nanking, 329 
Foreigners, 1, 5, 22-26, 30, 45, 46, 
49, 62, 63, 65, 66, 82, 83, 88-91, 
93> 95. 96, 98, 99> 101-104, 106, 
107, 113, 116-118, 133, 138, 141, 

i49> i57> i5 8 > l62 > l6 4, 165, 167, 
169, 171, 175-178, 183, 186, 188, 
189, 199, 200, 202, 204, 220, 223, 
229-231, 236, 237, 241, 255, 257, 



283, 289, 294, 295, 298, 314, 316, 

3*7> 3i9» 322, 323, 339, 342, 360- 

362, 365, 368, 369, 372, 374, 375- 

See also Missionaries and Missions. 

"Fortune Blocks," 201 

Fourteenth Infantry, 175, 182 

Fourth of July celebration, 75-77, 115 

French Legation, 113, 119, 127, 128, 

13°. I39> i45> l66 

French Legation doctor visited Em- 
peror, 26 

French Minister, 24, 92, 102, 114, 

138, 175. 349> 35i 

Fu, 109, 122-124, 126-129, 139, 151, 
153, 284, 363. See Su Palace 

Funds for charitable purpose, method 
of raising, 257, 258, 297 

Funeral obsequies of Viceroy Li 
Hung Chang, 212-215; °f Dowa- 
ger Princess Su, 284-287; of Mrs. 
Wang Wen Shao, 307, 308. 

Fusan, >5 



G., Mr., missionary, 207 

G., Mrs., 137 

Gamewell, Mrs., 34 

Gattrel, Mrs., 227 

Gentlemen in ladies' society, 268, 

3ii 
German Legation, 126-128, 130, 139, 

145, 148, 173, 350 
German Minister, 24, 103, 108, 109, 

i75» 35i 

Germans at Tsintan, 345 

"Giant date," 357 

Gift-giving among Chinese, 312 

Gifts, Diplomatic Corps request Chi- 
nese Court not to present, 222, 224 

Gods, birthdays of, 208 

"Good-luck stone," 353 

Gordon, Major, 324 

Gracey, Dr. and Mrs., 338, 341 

Grand Canal, 210, 320 

Graves, many, 5, 10, 356 

Great Bell, Bell Temple, 58, 59, 210 

Great Bell, Temple of the, Nanking, 

33o 
Great Bore, near Hang Chow, 323, 

324 
Great Wall of China, 1, 12-14, 62, 64, 

210, 317 
Greek Church, service of, 145, 146 
Green, Captain, 199, 206 



386 



INDEX 



H 

H., Miss, of Kiukiang, 331 

Hall, Captain, 93, 96, 104, 134, 137 

Hang Chow, 321-324 

Han Kow, 332-334, 358 

Hanlin College, 144 

Hart, Sir Robert, 142, 149, 153, 169, 

186, 187, 354 
Hartwell, Dr., 340 
Haskins, Mr. and Mrs., 354 
Hatamen gate, no, 133, 154, 164 
Hay, Hon. John, 181 
Head boy, duties of, 6, 8, 20 
Headland, Dr. Isaac T., 276-278 
Headland, Mrs., 284, 299, 304, 306, 

313, 348, 349, 35i. 
"Heathen" and Christian, 159, 200 
Heaven, Hall of, 79 
Heaven, Temple of, Peking, 3, 162, 

169, 170, 187 
Hell, Hall of, 79 
Heng, Lady, 310, 311 
History traced for 5,000 years, 30, 31 
Hoag, Dr., 336, 337 
Hochou, troubles for missionaries in, 22 
Home for aged, destitute Chinese 

women, 34, 35, 257 
Homes in compounds, 266 
Hong Kong, 199, 205, 206 
Horse meat food for besieged lega- 
tions, 113, 117, 153, 187 
Hospitals, army, 193 
Hotel in Peking, wreck of, 145 
House-boats, Imperial, 238; on Grand 

Canal, 320 
Hsien Feng, Emperor, 367 
Hsu, His Excellency Mr., and family, 

266-269, 3^4 
Huang-ti, title of Emperor, 13 



Idlers, none in China, 8 

Idol worship, 70 

Idols, temple containing 508, 78, 79 

Imperial Canal, 238 

Imperial carriage park, 174, 175 

Imperial City, Peking, 2, 166 

Imperial College. See Imperial Uni- 
versity 

Imperial Court, flight and absence of, 
162, 163, 169, 172, 177, 181, 190, 
195, 215, 216, 219, 221, 223, 229, 
255, 353 



Imperial Customs buildings burned, 

no 
Imperial Customs people, 133, 157 
Imperial gate, 3, 105, 208 
Imperial Industrial School, 297, 298 
Imperial porcelain industry, 331 
Imperial Princess, 221, 225, 227, 228, 

233, 236, 245, 271, 366, 371 
Imperial silk- weaving, 327 
Imperial University (or College), 23, 

86, 177 
Imperial Western Tombs, 315 
Independence Day celebration, 75-77, 

"5 

India ink, correctly called Chinese 
ink, 278 

Industry of Chinese, 8, 32, 46, 65, 202, 
362 

Inn, Chinese, n 

Interior cities, 8^ y 199 

Intermarriage of Chinese and for- 
eigners, 66 

"International," improvised gun, 123, 
125-127, 130, 136, 157 

Intoxication rare, 32 

Iron tablet, superstition concerning, 
256 

Italian convent, Han Kow, 332, 333 

Italian Legation, 127, 166 

Italian Minister, 24, 272, 273 



Jade quarries, 262 

Japan, 4, 86, 343, 344; Chinese em- 
ployed in, 8; in war with Russia, 
299. See Russo-Japanese War. 

Japanese art, 277 

Japanese, endurance of, 347 

Japanese Legation, 127, 148 

Japanese Legation attache, 98 

Japanese Minister, 24, 27 

Japanese quarters, Peking, 171, 194 

Japanese teaching in China, 365 

Jenks', Professor, monetary system, 
studied in China, 269 

Jesuits in China, 63 

Jingal, a large gun, 26, 123 

Joe Fu, Viceroy, 359 

Joint Note between China and the 
powers, 178, 192, 193, 195, 198, 
223, 237, 255, 369 

Jung, Duke, 249 

Jung Lu, General, 132, 135, 136, 140, 
215, 245, 279 



INDEX 



387 



Kahn, Dr., 331 

K'ang, or bed, 11 

Kang Tai Tai, Mrs. Conger's Chinese 

name, 220 
Kao, Mrs., 263, 306 
K'e, Dowager Princess, 279-282, 299, 

300, 302, 349 
K'e Palace, 281, 300, 372 
K'e, Prince, 282 
K'e, Princess, 281 
Kemp, Admiral, 205 
Kempff, Admiral, 92 
Kentucky, warship, 205, 206 
Killie, Mr., 356 

Kissing not a Chinese custom, 308 
Kitchen equipment, Chinese, 7 
Kiukiang, 330, 331 
Knox College, Galesburg, 111., tablet 

presented to, 192 
Kobe, Japan, 85 
Korea, 85 ; its language, 86 
Korean Legation, 261 
Kotow, 68 
Kuling, 339, 340 

Kung, Prince, granddaughter of, 225 
Kyoto, Japan, 85, 86 



Ladies of rank, 41, 73, 74, 203, 218, 
221, 222, 225-229, 232-236, 251, 
258, 263-269, 271-273, 279-282, 
284-286, 288, 293-296, 298-313, 
348-351, 360, 361, 363-366, 370- 

373 

Lama Temple service, 211, 212 

Language, spoken and written, 30, 31, 
200, 317 ; what Chinese has in com- 
mon with Japanese and Korean, 
86; "pidgin English" and dia- 
lects, 255 

Lanterns, 71, 72, 312, 319 

Learning, antiquity of Chinese, 368, 

369 

Lee Chee, Mr., 202-204 

Legation guards, 24-29, 89-96, 101- 
103, 107, 109-113, 115, 119, 121, 
126, 129-131, 133-135* I 48, I49> 
151, 152, 154, 155, 157, 199, 207 

Leonard, Dr., 167, 184 

Lien Fang, 225 

Li Hung Chang, Viceroy, 56, 63, 64, 
73» 74, 138, 152, 169, 175, 179, 181, 



182, 187, 192, 202, 212-215, 221, 

241, 304; and family, 56, 63, 64, 

73, 74, 268 
Lippet, Dr., 93, no, 121, 134, 184 
Liquors, 32 
Literature, China's great period in, 

60, 61 
Loads, heavy, put upon men and 

beasts, 281 
Lotus leaf, symbolism of, 269 
"Love characters," 302 
Lowry, Dr. H. H., 27, 28, 121, 350 
Lowry, Mr., 149 
Lowry, Mrs., 149 
Lowry, Mrs. Edward, 299 

M 

£*., Mrs., 126 

M., Mr. and Mrs., of Nanking, 330 
Macao, Portuguese settlement at, 63 
McCalla, Captain, 93, 105, 199 
MacDonald, Lady, 35, 40, 97, 109, 

114, 170, 175 
MacDonald, Sir Claude. See British 

Minister. 
Mackey, Dr. Maud, 184, 234, 235 
McKinley, President, 167, 181 
Manchu and Chinese ladies do not 

intermingi \ 361 
Manchu or in of queue, 5 1 
Manchu Princesses, 229 
Mandarin, home and family of, 202- 

205 
Marigold (orange), symbolism of, 270 
Marines, foreign, in China. See Le- 
gation guards 
Marriage customs, 282 
Martin, Dr., 23, 120, 128, 134, 140, 

146, 177 
Masters of painting and their pupils, 

277 
Maus, Colonel and Mrs., 243, 245 
Meaning back of acts, symbols, etc., 

21, 32, 37, 7o, 7i, 204, 241, 260, 

269, 270, 308, 312, 325 
Memory a Chinese characteristic, 19, 

32, 56, 255, 269, 298, 362 
Men, Peking a city of, 2, 317 
Methodist mission, Peking, 95, 96, 

99, 104, 109, no 
Methodist mission Sunday school, 35, 

36 
Miao, Lady, 278 
Mikado Palace, Kyoto, 86 



3 88 



INDEX 



Miles, General and Mrs., 242-246 

Military drill among Chinese stu- 
dents, 374 

Ming Dynasty, 62, 277 

Ming Tombs, near Peking, 14-16, 
62, 328; near Nanking, 328 

Ming-ti, Emperor, 62 

Mint at Nanking, 329 

Missionaries and Missions, 9, 22-24, 
27, 28, 35, 36, 47, 48, 63, 90, 93-96, 
98, 99, 101-104, 109, no, 122, 133, 
155, 158, 162, 163, 165-168, 183, 
192, 207, 226, 227, 265, 268, 269, 
283, 293-295, 3i4~3 I 8, 321, 322, 
325-328, 330-341, 348-35°> 355, 
356, 361-365. See also Foreigners 

Mogi, Japan, 343 

Mokpo, 85 

Money, love of, 21 

Mongolia, 13 ,14, 44, 364 

Mongolian Prince and Princess, 284, 
364, 372 

Monoliths, avenue of, 16, 17 

Moon Feast, 254, 276 

Moon, Temple of, Peking, 3 

Morrison, Dr., 134, 174 

"Mother-in-law, cruel," 280 

Mother-in-law, daughter-in-law may 
not sit in presence of, 281 

Mourning customs, 51, 52, 213-215, 
268, 285-287, 307, 308 

Music, Chinese are lovers of, 32, 361; 
at wedding feast, 300; Chinese and 
foreign, 322; in missions, 327, 328, 

334 
Myers, Captain, 93, 98, 99, 101, in, 
120, 121, 134, 145, 149, 152, 153, 
184 

N 

Nagasaki, Japan, 343 

Nanking, 62, 327-330, 359 

Nankou, n 

Nankou pass, 12 

Nantang Catholic hospital, 29; mis- 
sion, 96, 99, 102, 103 

Nan Yang College, 319, 320 

National airs, 185, 186 

Native City, Peking, 2, 162, 164 

Na Tung, His Excellency, 350 

Nealy, Mr., government architect, 
273, 296, 354 

Negoya, Japan, 86 

Nervousness, Chinese never show, 8 

Nestergard, Mr., 146 



New Year's Day, season for paying 
respects to superiors, 38, 246; Chi- 
nese celebration, 208 

Newark, flagship, 92, 199 

Newchwang, 262 

Newspaper, women's, 299, 371, 373 

Niece of Empress Dowager, 221, 225, 
251. See Shun, Princess 

Night, trains do not run at, 357 

Nigo Castle, Kyoto, 86 

Nine Classics in Chinese literature, 
60 

Nippon, S. S., 206 

Noise, Chinese frightened at, 125 

Noninterference, Chinese policy of, 
69, 70 

North China, climate of, 43, 83; 
mode of travel in, 83; discontent 
in, 89; working women seldom 
seen in, 201; English taught and 
spoken in, 326, 359 



Officials, hardest-worked people in 
Empire, 46; afraid of one another, 
62; showed disrespect to foreign- 
ers, 189; dinners to, 229, 243 

Oleander, symbolism of, 269 

Opium, 315 

Opium reform, 374 

Opportunities in Far East, 22 

Order of the Double Dragon, 312, 352 



Pack-trains from Mongolia, 12 

Pagoda, largest, 325 

Pahz Ztah, largest pagoda, 325 

Painting, Chinese, 277, 278 

Paints, mixing of, 277 

Palace where four Princesses jumped 
into well, 163, 279 

Paoting Fu, 94, 96, 167, 183, 184, 315, 
316, 356 

Parents, respect for, 46, 280; mur- 
der of, the worst crime, 71; loved 
by children, 309, 361 

Patience characteristic of Chinese, 14, 
323, 362 

Patriotism, Boxer movement origi- 
nated in, 142 ; shown in decorations, 
321, 334; taught in schools, 323, 
334; awakening of, 374 

Pattern, working from, 298 



INDEX 



389 



Peach, symbolism of, 70, 269 

Pechon, M., French Minister, 92 

Peilo on avenue to Ming Tombs, 16 

Peitang, Roman Catholic mission, 
96, 99, 102, 103, 119, 139, 162, 165, 
166 

Peking, city of men, 2, 317; walled 
cities in, 2, 3; frozen in during 
winter, 24; foreign marines arrive 
in, 25, 26; supplies brought into, 
44, 173, 233; Confucian temple in, 
60, 61; capital moved to, 62; Le- 
gation flags in, 67; unescorted 
women in, 68, 231, 232; siege and 
relief of, 95-160, 182; missionaries 
brought to, 95; cut off from com- 
munication, 97, 98; Diplomatic 
Corps asked to leave, 108, 131, 139, 
143; conditions in, after siege, 
160-167, 169-180, 190, 194; Brit- 
ish built railroad into, 187, 188; 
bridge in, 210; return of Court to, 
215, 216; city of the "blue gown," 
238, 317; wall of, 329; large bell 
in, 330; schools in, 371 

Peking Gazette, 253 

Peking Observatory, 53-55, 172, 177, 
210 

P'eng courts, 261 

Perspective in Chinese art, 278 

Pethick, Miss, 241 

Pethick, Mr., 73, 74, 103, 241, 242 

Pets, Chinese love of, 32, 361 

Philippines, 342 

Photographs of Chinese ladies, 351, 
366 

"Pidgin English," 255 

Pigeons, carrier, 209 

Pilgrimages, to tombs of Emperors, 
15; to tombs of ancestors, 46, 188, 
356,358; to keep a vow, 322 

Pirates, punishment of, 201, 202 

Pi Yiin Ssu, Temple of Five Hun- 
dred and Eight Idols, 78-81 

Poems illustrated by Empress Dowa- 
ger, 267 

Poisoned food, fear of, 146 

Political preferment, education only 
road to, 32 

Pomegranate, symbolism of, 70 

Poole, Captain, 144 

Poppies, fields of, 315 

Porcelain for Imperial use, 331 

Porcelain Tower, 328, 329 

Port Arthur captured, 339, 340 



Porter, Miss, 294 

Portrait of Empress Dowager, 248, 

271, 272, 291, 292, 352 
Portuguese in China, 63 
Postal Telegraph wire, 94, 97 
Priest, death of, ceremonies attendant 

upon, 84 
Princesses jumped into well, 163, 279 
Princeton, warship, 85 
Prittwit, Mrs., 35 
Private schools for girls, 372 
Prize ships, 344 
Protestants lead in higher educational 

mission schools, 338 
Protocol between China and the 

powers, 178, 195, 198, 223, 237, 

255> 369 
Public accommodations for visitors 

to Peking, 230, 231 
Pu Lun, Prince, and family, 312-314, 

35o 
Punishments, for Boxers, 187; for 

crimes, 201, 202 



Queue, late Emperor wished to dis- 
card, 23; history of custom of 
wearing, 51, 52; worn by Manchus 
and Chinese, 361 



Ragsdale, Mr., U. S. Consul at 

Tientsin, 199 
Railway car presented by France to 

Empress Dowager, 40 
Railway, Chinese employed on, 64; 

built into Peking, 187, 188 
Range, Chinese, 7 
Red Cross hospital, at Peking, 176; 

at Sasebo, Japan, 343 
Red, Princesses' color, 226; wedding 

color, 300 
Religion and worship, Chinese, ^ } 

46, 50, 60, 201, 211, 212, 277 
Requests to be carried to Their Ma- 
jesties, 252, 364 
Rice principal diet of coolies, 7 
Riley, Captain, 161 
Roads, 12 

Robinson, Miss, 334, 335 
Rock Hills, mission on, Swatow, 341 
Roman Catholic missions, 96, 102, 

33^333 



39Q 



INDEX 



Roosevelt, President, 344 

Rug weavers at Imperial Industrial 

School, 298 
Russian bank, 147 
Russian Legation, 101, 107, 127, 134, 

169, 173, 182 
Russian Minister, 24, 92, 138, 145, 

169, 173, 175, 182 
Russian national hymn, 185, 186 
Russians in Newchwang, 262 
Russo-Japanese War, 262, 273, 299, 

324, 340, 343, 346 



Sad news never told to bride, 269 

St. John's College, 337, 338 

St. Louis Exposition, 248, 292, 314, 

337, 364 
Salutation, manner of, 301 
San Francisco earthquake, China's aid 

after, 366, 373 
San Shan An Temple, Western Hills, 6 
Sasebo, Japan, 343 
Satow, Sir Ernest, 175 
Saussine, Mrs., 220 
Scholars at Examination Halls, 56 
Schools, 297, 298, 314, 318-320, 323, 

326, 327, 33*-333, 335-338, 34i, 

362-365, 371, 372 
Schools of art, 278 
Sea Wall, Hang Chow, 323 
Seasons for shop goods, 71, 72 
Secondary wives, 282 
Servants, Chinese, 6, 8, 19-21, 36-38, 

159, 303, 312; number attending 

Princesses and officials, 229, 232 
Seventeen-arched marble bridge, 239 
Seymour, Admiral, 97, 137 
Shanghai, 4, 199, 319, 359 
Shan-hai Kuan, 13, 64 
Shantung, 345 
Shew, Mr., 325 

Shew's Gardens, Soo Chow, 325 
Shiba, Colonel, 147 
Shopping for rare goods, 258-260 
Shops of Canton, 201 
"Short cut" in mathematics not new 

to Chinese, 368, 369 
Shun, Princess, 251, 278, 365. See 

Niece of Empress Dowager 
Sian Fu, Court at, 190 
Siberia, S. S., 347, 359, 360 
Sick, care of, 70; do not take to their 

beds, 321 



Siege and relief of the Legations, 95- 
168, 171, 172, 174, 176, 178-182, 
184, 186, 187, 189, 190, 195, 198, 
199, 220, 223, 242, 246, 248, 279, 
283, 284, 296, 304, 315, 316, 353, 
. 360, 363, 368 

Silk industry, 327 

Silkworm, god of the, 270 

Singing in mission schools, 322, 328, 
334, 335 

Sisters of the Great Bell, legend of the, 

.33° 

Sixtieth birthday of great note, 263, 
310 

Sleep of coolie laborers, 8 

Sleeping Buddha, 78, 81, 82 

Sleight-of-hand performers, Chinese 
skilled as, 32 

Smallpox among Legation guards, 28, 
29 

Smith, Dr., 134 

Socks (leather) for swine, 14 

Soil not depleted, 83, 358 

Soldiers, Chinese, 26, 38, 89, 95-97, 
99, 106, in, 114-116, 126, 130- 
132, 135, 1 3&, 138, 140, 143, 144, 
15°, 151, 154, 155, 157, 163, 164, 
171, 172, 174, 176, 184, 279 

Soo Chow, 324, 325 

South, catafalques, thrones, temples, 
etc., always face, 61, 171, 285, 330 

South China, working women in, 201 ; 
English taught and spoken in, 326, 

359 
Spanish Legation, 127 
Spanish Minister, 126 
Spoils of war, American Government 

does not recognize, 164, 177, 372 
Sportsmen, Chinese skilled as, 32 
"Squeeze," or servants' commission, 

6, 19-21 
Stewart, Dr. and Mrs., 327 
Stone, Dr., and sister, of Kiukiang, 

33i 
Strouts, Captain, 134 
Su, Dowager Princess, 284-287 
Su Palace, 283, 284, 363 
Su, Prince, 123, 283, 284, 286, 372; 

and family, 284-287, 363, 372 
Summer Palace, 237-240 
Sun-dials, 54 

Sun, Temple of, Peking, 3 
Sunday observance not known in 

China, 33 
Sunday school, visit to, 35, 36 



INDEX 



39i 



Superstitions, 65, 119, 141, 142, 174, 

183, 256 
Surprise, Chinese seldom exhibit, 264 
Swatow, 341 

Swine protected for travelling, 14 
Symbolism. See Meaning back of 

acts, symbols, etc. 



Taiping Rebellion, 324, 328 

Ta Ku, 89, 91, 137, 138, 199 

Taoism, S3 

Taotai, of Shanghai, 4, 5 ; of Canton, 

203 
Tartar City, Peking, 2, 164 
Tea "factory," 333 
Telegraph wires cut, 94, 97, 98, 107; 

re-established, 165 
Telephones in Chinese homes, 298 
Temple to Confucius, Peking, 60, 61; 

at Nan Yang College, 319, 320 
Temples in Peking, 3; at Western 

Hills, 6, 9, 75; open day and night, 

33 > 5°J goods sold in, 72; at Hang 

Chow, 324 
Thanksgiving Day, at Legation, 27, 

28; similarity to Moon Feast, 254; 

on Yangtze River, 326 
Theatricals, Chinese love for, 32; in 

home of Mandarin, 204; at birth- 
day celebration, 311 
Thousand Buddhas, Hall of, 79 
Tientsin, 5, 25, 90, 92, 95, 97, 107, 

108, 115, 116, 126, 137-140, 143- 

145, 147-149, 165, 169, 170, 173, 

175, 182, 191, 195, 199 
Tiffin to Court Princesses, 225-229, 

304, 369; return invitation by 

Princesses, 231-233, 304; inquiries 

concerning, 234-236 
Trains, night, 357 
Translations into Chinese language 

introduced by missionaries, 268, 

269 
Travel, matter of business solely with 

Chinese, 12; mode of, in North 

China, 83 
Treaty between China and United 

States, 283 
Treaty ports, 82 
Tsai Husu, 141 
Tsintan, 345, 346 
Tsung Li Yamen, 24, 38, 39, 62, 89- 

92, 94, 97-100, 105-109, 131, 135, 



138-143, 147, i49- I 5 6 » 176, 189, 
255 

Tuan, Prince, 126, 141 

Tungchow, persecution of mission- 
aries at, 94, 95, 99, 144 

u 

Uchida, Mrs., 231, 232 
United States. See American 
United States Government, Empress 
Dowager's portrait presented to, 292 
Unmarried ladies do not meet gentle- 
men, 268 



Vegetation partakes of nature of 
persons caring for it, 21; adapta- 
ble in hands of Chinese, 226 
Victoria, Queen, death of, 196 
Von Ketteler, Baron, German Minis- 
ter, 109, 177 
Von Ketteler, Baroness, 109 
Vow, pilgrimage to keep, 322 

w 

W., Mrs., 116 

Wai Wu Pu, 255, 306 

Wall, Chinese. See Great Wall of 

China 
Walls, China a country of, 1, 317 
Wang, head boy, 84, 89, 101, 118, 

120, 143, 159, 161, 191, 225, 229, 

230, 259, 288, 348, 349, 353, 354, 

358 
Wang Kai Kai, His Excellency, 350 
Wang Kia Tien, 358 
Wang Wen Shao, His Excellency, 306, 

308, 309 
Wang Wen Shao, Mrs., 263, 265, 288, 

306-309 
Warren, Mr., British student, 132, 

134 
Water clock, 54 
Western customs and enterprises, late 

Emperor a friend of, 23, 25 
Western Hills, 5, 6, 9, 75, 98, 173, 174, 

354 
Wheelbarrow men, 7, 64, 65 
Wheels of life, symbolism of, 80 
Wherry, Dr., 134, 350 
Whistles on carrier pigeons, 209 
White dress of Koreans, 85 



39* 



INDEX 



Williams, Mr., Legation Secretary, 
213, 219, 313; Mr. and Mrs., 

354 

Wilson, General, 174 

Wint, Colonel, 194 

Wives, secondary, 282 

Wo Fu Ssu, Temple of the Sleeping 
Buddha, 78, 81, 82 

Woman's Winter Refuge, 34, 35, 257, 
297 

Women, Chinese, 50, 71; work on 
boats and in streets, 201, 339; not 
present at temple worship, 212; 
not seen on streets, 317; standing 
of, 377. See Ladies of rank. 

Women, foreign, should not go unes- 
corted in Peking, 68, 230, 231 

Worship in temples, form of, 50 



Wright, Governor General and Mrs. 

342 
Wu Ch'ang mission school, 2>Z3 
Wu Ting Fang, 136 



Yamen. See Tsung Li Yamen 
Yangtze River, 326, 327, 332, 334, 

358, 359 
Yaun-Shih-Kai, 215 
Yellow River districts, floods'of,63, 356 
Yellow soil, roads spread with, for use 

of Court, 238, 270 
Yellow Temple, 57 
Yii, Lady, 247, 271 
Yu, Mrs., 293 
Yung-lo, Emperor, 15, 62